Crows, the heavily vocal birds, are present all across the planet. These omnivorous birds are prominent in mountains, rocky cliffs, deserts, green forests, woodlands, agricultural land, and almost any environment. Crows are present in different geological and geographical terrain due to the fact that they can find food easily anywhere.
Crows being hunters and scavengers, feed on a variety of plants and meat. They especially prey on rodents like rats, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs etc. Whether they are walking or flying, crows always investigate the possibility of food being available around. These birds are undoubtedly known for their intelligence, and that’s what helps them chase, grab, and hunt their prey. Besides rodents, Crows also feed on crop-eating insects, bugs, tiny frogs, small lizards, and more such creatures.
Not just fresh, but crows can also feed upon already deceased creatures. They never care about hunting or the level of ripeness of a dead animal but are brutal when it comes to their feast. However, that doesn’t mean that one can feed poisoned rodents or other animals to crows. That is neither advisable nor acceptable by any means.
Where Do Crows Fit In The Animal Food Chain?
In Animal Food Chain, crows and other birds are considered ‘Secondary Consumers.’ They prey upon ‘Primary Consumers’ and are eaten by ‘Tertiary or Third Consumers.’
Do Crows Eat Small Rodents?
Yes, as and when given the opportunity, Crows will chase, hunt, and eat small rodents.
However, because crows are opportunistic feeders, they do not hunt small rodents until they are genuinely hungry. Crows initially find things to feed on given plants or meat that is easily present around. They generally prey on already dead animals most of the time. Though in case of fewer such opportunities, crows hunt on small rodents, given they are the easier catch.
Crows are more hunting alert during the summer season. It is when more insects and small animals are easily seen around. However, during the winter season, when live meat (or even dead meat) opportunity shrinks, hunting too levels down.
Do Crows Eat Moles?
Since crows aren’t very good diggers, it is less likely for them to prey on Moles. Birds and animals who are skilled diggers and burrowers are the major threat to rodents like moles.
Moles that occasionally come to the surface (probably accidentally and less possibly by purpose) are often being hunted and killed by crows, owls, or other birds that fly overhead.
Do Crows Eat Squirrels?
Crows, though, generally feed on dead animals but will occasionally hunt for their food which may include Squirrels. Crows feed on squirrels or other rodents only when food crises are prominent, and there is a scarcity of prey.
Rravens and Crows, though, generally do not attack healthy and adult squirrels. They will instead pick an easier target and thus attack baby squirrels or unhealthy ones who are less likely to defend themselves. An injured, dying, or dead squirrel or its half-eaten flesh, too, is a possible feast for crows rather than live, healthy, and alert ones.
However, despite all of this, one can often find crows and squirrels hanging out along at the bird feeder. Both the bird and rodent aren’t friendly, but they co-exist in different environments without purposely harming one another. Though still, crows have a tendency to harm baby squirrels, and therefore the hunting possibility stays always alive.
Do Ravens Eat Rodents?
Ravens are omnivorous, and therefore most of their diet includes meat. Ravens often confuse people for being similar to crows, though Ravens are four times larger than crows and have massive beaks. They can eat anything from small to medium size rodents, insects, bugs, trash, carrion, seeds, fruit, etc.
Also known as Scavengers, Ravens are technical hunters, and they know enough techniques to survive efficiently in the wild. Preys that are too tricky for small birds, including crows, owls, sparrows, etc., Raven and treachery (group of Raven) are known for hunting them down easily. Given their size and hunting instincts, they are probably a danger for newborn cat and dog litter as well.
What Do Ravens Hunt And Eat?
Ravens feed on both plants and animals, but meat is a major part of their diet. These opportunistic feeders have a varied diet depending upon available food sources and the kind of habitat they survive. Their meat diet certainly includes,
- Carcasses (mice and baby tortoises are examples)
- Nestlings from other birds
- Carrion (Decaying Flesh)
Raven’s plant-based/ vegetarian diet includes
- Cat or dog food (small pellets)
- Unsalted Peanuts and Nuts
- High Protein treats
- Unmanaged picnics
- Leftover food
Ravens are undoubtedly more dangerous than crows, and therefore hunting comes slightly easier to them. They commonly hunt in couples or small groups and work together to flush out prey. They even raid other birds’ nests. Since Ravens are highly adaptable creatures, they can hunt in any given environment, including snow, desert, mountains, or woods.
Do Crows Eat Rabbits?
It is less likely but still possible for crows to hunt and eat rabbits.
Given their size, rabbits are visually very difficult prey for crows or even other big birds. However, the behaviour of rabbits can be pretty much the reason why crows attack them. Rabbits aren’t crows’ first choice of prey, but food scarcity can bring such possibilities to life.
Crows usually don’t (most likely cannot) hunt or even attack a mature, healthy, and fully grown rabbit. Given rabbits are big and fluffy; the scenario can become extremely difficult. However, there are several instances when one or a group of hungry crows have hunted down a young, injured, or sick rabbit. Since such rabbits are easier prey, crows don’t have to deal with the size issue of the animal they are attacking.
There are several cases, including the one at Virtual Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington, where some hikers observed how crows drove rabbits from fields to the road. This resulted in rabbits getting hit by a car and later crows feasting over them.
Do Crows Eat Chickens?
Since crows are omnivorous and feed on meat, Chicken is one of the meats they will eat. However, crows are less likely to attack a Chicken and hunt it down. Instead, crows keep an eye on injured, weak, or likely dying Chicken and then attack them. Young Chickens who are away from their flock protection are also possible prey for crows, ravens, and other such birds.
Crows are more likely to attack chicken eggs, especially that are kept unprotected or for some other reason. Crows are extremely intelligent, and they wait for the right time when chickens go here and there, leaving the egg unattended behind. Therefore, chicken farm owners often use bird deterrents if there are more such meat-eating birds present around.
Do Crows Eat Baby Birds?
Let’s be honest: crows are brutal and will eat almost any possible meat around. These mysterious birds are scavengers; they are practically everywhere and have the most diverse diet.
Crows are often witnessed eating other small birds who are defenceless, possible victims, or away from the protection of their families.
They will certainly raid a nest of hatchlings, pull out a baby bird and start eating it. Scientists, therefore, already list baby birds as a part of crows’ diet.
Crows usually prey on small birds, including finches, sparrows, and canaries.
Do Crows Eat Small Animals?
Meat is a prominent part of the crow’s diet, and they will eat anything that is dead or alive. Their diet consists of small animals, including insects, bugs, small birds, fishes, tiny lizards, frogs, and more such mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.
Crows are capable hunters, but unusually, instead of daily hunting, they prefer feeding on already dead animals. They are opportunists and prey/ eat on anything and everything that is available to them.
Do Crows Eat Snakes?
Crows are one of those meat-eating birds that feed on both live and dead snakes. Crows do not have any special diet, and even though when the snake is a possible danger to them, they will eat it without a second thought.
Even though they themselves end up dead in the end. Snakes are not common prey for crows, but in cases of food scarcity, they won’t hesitate to hunt them though.
However, since snakes are pretty aggressive, it is likely that they will attack a crow, and it will become a one-to-one fight in most cases. Who becomes the prey depends on the size of the crow and snake.
What Do Crows Eat In The Winter?
Hunting for both plants and meat can become crucial in winter for all obvious reasons. That is why crows during winter often survive upon nuts, fruits, grains, eggs, and vegetables. For meat, they dig into the upper layer of soil and pick insects to feed upon.
What Food Can Humans Offer To Crow?
Humans can normally offer cracked corn, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, rolled oats, or any grain, including millet, milo, and wheat. During winters, offer mixed seeds or grain with beef fat or basically Suet to crows, and it will help them survive the harsh weather.
Hard-boiled eggs, cat and dog food, fruits, vegetables, and small insects too are fine food choices you may offer to crows. Though avoid offering anything seasoned, junk, packed, or processed, and extremely flavored food to crows.
DID YOU KNOW? According to Hindu Rituals, people offer food (prasad) to crows, cows, ants, and a dog during the Shradh Paksha (An annual holy phase of 16 days where Hindus remember and pray for their ancestors). Feeding a crow is considered auspicious, and the feast consists of food, including sweet, savoury, deep-fried, etc. This isn’t what experts would recommend as a part of a crow’s diet, but it is probably something Hindus have been following for centuries.
By the end of this article, it is clear that Crows can hunt and eat Rodents. They do so as a usual part of their diet both in the wild or within the human settlement. However, although they eat rodents, they never try feeding poisoned rats to crows.