Crows. Not rose oriented

Zyperiris(Seattle)May 29, 2008

I can't believe this..I have a beautiful new home next to a green belt area. We put feeders out for hummingbirds and other birds. Last weekend the neighbor told my husband there was a large rat running around. We saw it and set a trap and got it. I guess that's to be expected where we live when we put seed out. But this is a trip..I have binoculars and I have been watching my feeders trying to identify the different birds. The other morning a crow landed in the bird bath and used the water to wash some bloody looking road kill. LOL. I thought maybe I was seeing things..then he saw it the next day..This evening I went out to put fresh water in the bath..and there was the remains of a baby bird. A clump of feathers, two wings separated and some weird body part..maybe the head. I can't believe the crows are using my bird bath for this. How gross.

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jerijen(Zone 10)

They do it here, too.

Frighteningly intelligent birds. NOT something I want around.
Mockingbirds hate them, and go after them -- likely to protect their nests.

They make me want to go out and buy a slingshot.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 10:56PM
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I hate crows. They ate my cardinal babies. I didn't know they would do that until this year. Watching the 2 parent birds looking for their babies was the saddest thing I've ever seen.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 11:11PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

When I lived in Fort McMurray, everyone had to cover their garbage bags with large blankets. The garbage collectors would never take the blankets, because we all knew they were needed.

Someone new moved right across the street from us, and we all forgot to warn him. He put his garbage bags out and garbage was strewn everywhere by the ravens. I counted and there were 35 ravens on their front lawn. It looked like a seething and roiling mass of black maggots!!! Blech and creepy!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 12:03AM
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Oh, ravens make their crow cousins look like imbeciles!

As a group the ravens, crows, jackdaws, and jays ("Corvidae") are ferociously intelligent birds and fascinating in their way, but they are usually meat eaters when they can get it (even if that means scavenging for it), and they certainly aren't shy about scavenging for the food scraps in our trash!

I've always thought it interesting that while mockingbirds (& other songbirds sometimes) beat up on nearby crows, crows in their turn freak out and beat up on owls.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 12:11AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I don't have crows in my yard, but I do have grackels. They clean out the feeders in one day. I knew crows ate roadkill, but I didn't know they raided nests. Now I know why the mockingbirds are so insane. One has a nest in a tree near my driveway and they go berserk each time we walk past.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 7:51AM
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Jane Rafferty

Whoa there! Why the prejudice of crows and ravens?! Is it because they are black? Is it because they get starring roles in horror movies and poems...quoth the raven -- nevermore...

Other birds eat meat. Other birds are FAR worse predators of songbirds -- bluejays are about the worst. Crows and ravens are intelligent, because unlike most birds we see, they have to work hard for a living. They rarely kill anything and as you said you see them being driven off frequently. They clean up what is left behind. Without crows and ravens roadkill would stay there breeding disease. They are scavangers and help keep our world clean. They have a purpose and a right to be here.

I was fortunate enough to move into a neighborhood with ravens and put out dog food for them. Watching their social activity was fascinating. I love to see them striding around shimmering in the sun. They did not bother my bird feeders and I never saw any sign that they bothered my nesting birds. In fact, unlike song birds, they treat each other very well and have been known to care for a wounded member of the flock.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 7:52AM
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Janegael, I totally agree with you!! It is amazing that it's fine and acceptable for people to kill and eat lamb, veal, etc., but it is horrible for birds to eat baby birds or road kill?? Yes, it's sad and I don't like to see it either, but it's nature, and there is no reason to condemn crows or ravens! And I also don't understand why anyone would trap and kill an outdoor rat in a greenbelt area, living next to a greenbelt area means encountering all kinds of creatures. Why kill any of them??

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 12:17PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

Agreed, now if we could do something with those lousy starlings which look like miniature crows and are not native to NA we would be onto something. They take over other birds nesting sites even after the nest has been built and produce more disgusting starlings. We used to have large flocks of swallows and robins here but now mostly flocks of two hundred starlings.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 6:54PM
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Jane Rafferty

Starlings are a problem but WE brought them over here from England just like we did pigeons. It's not their fault they have few natural predators here.

I live along Long Island Sound here in CT and Monk parakeets have become a problem because they are colony nesters and build large condos on utility poles. We brought them to this country and now the solution has been to gas the nests, kill the birds and horrify anyone with a conscience. With any luck the bill protecting them will be passed and United Illuminating will have to use more humane strategies to deal with the problem.

Petra I used to live in the woods and we had the most delightful little wood rats that came to the feeders. Once we saw a Norwegian (house) rat and he was so huge next to them he looked like a Sumo wrestler.

When I was a child I was taught a lesson I never forgot. I squashed a bug of some sort. My grandfather looked at it sadly and said: "You have the power to kill it -- now bring it back to life."

We have great power -- we have to wield it carefully and responsibly...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 11:25AM
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Jane, you were lucky to have a grandfather with compassion. My grandmother used to catch spiders and such in the house and put them outside, as did my mother, and I do the same. I am glad I was taught killing should not be a knee-jerk reaction and is to be avoided, if possible.

Re. Starlings and other non-native birds, I don't understand why bird birth control is not an option. It makes me sick that killing is always THE solution on the part of humans. If you don't like it or don't approve of it, wipe it out. Especially if it causes a problem to animals you DO approve of. Never mind the great harm pollution, habitat destruction and over-building done by humans does to ALL birds and animals.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:52PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

My parents have a small flock of Monk parakeets that come calling every couple of days in Port orchard WA. just west of Seattle. Unlike the dreaded starlings Monk Parakeets do not throw other birds out of their nests and do not in any significant way cause food shortages to most native birds. There is a nest in a cell phone tower that blocks the signal sometimes and a big outcry came when the phone company wanted to get rid of the parakeets. The tower was redesigned to avoid the problem except for access to make repairs.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 12:51AM
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Papa really? We call those Quaker parakeets I believe. Wish they would stop at my house instead of the pidgeons

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 12:24AM
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There are Monks everywhere they have managed to escape. They are where my daughter lives in So California, in Chicago, New York and here in CT where they are expanding their territory. Years ago there was a picture in the paper showing a large spruce that had fallen down because it was so top heavy with massive nests built by the Monks.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 12:31AM
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