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Using crows to protect flock from hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RobG7aChattTN, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. I have seen crows chase hawks off before. It seems like any time they see a hawk a flock (or "murder") of crows will gang up and chase the hawks away. There might be concern about crows preying on chicks...but not adults, right? It got me wondering if you could attract crows and keep them around...maybe even get them to nest nearby so they would always be there to chase off hawks. I don't know if you can make a nest box that would attract crows but I did come across this TED talk about training wild crows to use a peanut vending machine. The beauty of the vending machine is that no other animals (like squirrels) would be smart enough to use it (but you could certainly buy a lot of peanuts for what it would cost to rig up the vending machine). Anyway, it sure seems like it would be easier to attract crows than to chase away every passing hawk. Anyone out there inadvertently (or purposefully) attracting crows that never have a hawk problem?
    Here's a link to the TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/joshua_klein_on_the_intelligence_of_crows.html

  2. After a little googling I found that it has actually been discussed here on backyard chickens before. I might at least try putting out some crow decoys (I think I've seen them in the hunting section at Walmart). Sadly, I did read on here that crows usually won't go after cooper's hawks...the species I've had the most trouble with. All said it looks like a few decoys, some scattered corn and peanuts along with a crow-call might be worth trying.
  3. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I have a gang of crows that hang out in the woods/marsh behind the coop. They are, to me, some of the best friends my birds have. I too, have seen the crows relentlessly drive hawks away from the area. My birds seem to have identified the crow's hawk warning call. The crows, when around call to each other through the day. But there is a certain call, the hawk call, that when the chickens hear it, their heads pop up, and they haul it to cover. No hesitation, they GO. They learned it.
    I have done nothing to draw the crows here. They were here before me. They have never bothered the chickens. Although, they can be a nuisance, when I plant the garden,, they really like fresh planted corn.
  4. The best use of crows is to alert the chicken keeper that there is a hawk in the neighborhood and then the chicken man or woman helps the crows with their heavy fighting.
  5. BlueJayFarm

    BlueJayFarm Songster

    Jul 24, 2013
    Boring, Oregon
    Were you successful in attracting crows? I also wish I had crows on our property. I took them for granted and am surprised that where we live now has no crows! I sure could use them around here with all these raptors. Please share any success stories you have. Thanks.
  6. I haven't tried it since the big predator for me has been a Cooper's Hawk which is the one hawk that I read crows won't chase off (probably because the Cooper's Hawk is the one hawk that can retaliate...being a bird specialist and all). Anyhow, I've just kept my birds locked in the coop. We've had some cold weather and I've been busy lately so I might just wait until spring.
  7. otis7

    otis7 Chirping

    Feb 27, 2012
    I knew there were crows within a mile of my house, and I wanted to get them here after a hawk attack. I played crow calls found on you tube out my door and scattered corn and peanuts through out the yard. One day while playing the crow sounds I walked outside and the **** hawk (red tail) came flying out of the tree screaming his little head off. He landed in a tree near by, and as the video stopped playing he looked around quite perplexed. It definitely unsettled him! I had no idea the hawk was even in the yard at the time! After a few days of playing the video I gave up. Sure enough a few days later the crows moved into my neighbors yard. I scatter feed for them still but I never see them land in eat. They start going off as soon as the hawk comes near the property. I saw one chase off a high flying bald eagle the other day! I absolutely love them and they are really helping my problem!

  8. Njinja

    Njinja In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2014
    Yaoundé, Cameroon
    Crows won't work for me in central Africa--they're almost as bad as the black kites one of our most common chick preditors. Of course the African pied crow is somewhat bigger than N. American blak crows...I saw a crow take a chick right under the noses of a family (we were all sitting in front of the house just feet away).
  9. BlueJayFarm

    BlueJayFarm Songster

    Jul 24, 2013
    Boring, Oregon
    Thanks for this story! I could try that!
  10. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I have found that for whatever reason, the jays here will mob the heck out of Cooper's and Sharp Shinned hawks... far more than the crows will. If you have any native jays around, you could try encouraging a family unit to keep your yard as part of their territory. They LOVE shelled peanuts... :) They are in the corvid family, like crows and ravens, and form strong family units and are pretty clever.

    It took me three years to get a blue jay family to set up on my property but they are actually much sharper at keeping after the "little" hawks than the crows are. The crows, on the other hand, really bother the red tailed hawks.

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