Do Crows Attack Pigeons? (Crow and Raven Behaviors)

  • Author: Carl
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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When it comes to a crow’s diet, they’ll eat nearly anything. Crows are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants, so essentially nothing is off-limits when they are hungry and need something to eat.

This is why you sometimes see them attacking other birds, particularly the smaller ones. Nevertheless, crows have been known to attack bigger birds as well, and this can include pigeons.

While it can be a little disturbing to some people, crows attack pigeons and kill them because these and other animals are a part of their natural diet. In fact, crows are considered predatory birds and, therefore, they will eat many small and even large animals, including pigeons and many others. While crows usually attack and eat birds smaller than themselves, they have been known to attack birds that are closer to their own size, including pigeons.

Crows Have the Upper Hand

When it comes to crows versus pigeons, there is little comparison and, in fact, pigeons do not stand a chance when they are attacked by crows.

While pigeons are only slightly smaller than crows, crows have the upper hand for numerous reasons.

  • First, crows have beaks that are designed to cut and rip flesh, while pigeons have beaks that are designed to pick up grain. This means pigeons are essentially useless when it comes to a crow’s attack.
  • Second, a crow’s talons are designed to grip and hold prey, while the talons on a pigeon are designed for perching only. In fact, this is one of the reasons why pigeons are easy prey for crows and why many animals besides the crow will hunt them down and eat them.

For these reasons, when a pigeon is attacked by a crow or any other bird, it is essentially helpless and doesn’t stand a chance of getting away.

Hold Funerals for Their Dead
Crows facts

Keep in mind that crows are also opportunistic hunters, which means they will attack and kill any bird that is smaller than they are.

In addition, they will prey on injured animals and animals that are left unattended by their mothers. This is one of the reasons pigeons are so attractive to crows.

Pigeons are rather complacent birds when they’re in city squares being fed by humans, making them the perfect prey for crows, who often swoop down and grab them before anyone nearby realizes what is happening.

Mobbing

In case you’re unfamiliar with mobbing, this is an anti-predator behavior that many birds use as a form of self-defense.

If crows feel threatened or wish to protect their offspring, they will often mob. The behavior involves viciously attacking and harassing any animal the crows feel is a threat to them.

You’ve undoubtedly seen over-exaggerated mobbing scenes in some horror movies, but they are based in reality. In fact, when it comes to mobbing, crows seem to be much fiercer than hawks, eagles, and owls.


Did You Know? Mobbing isn’t only seen in birds but in several other animals as well. It is especially prevalent when animals feel that their young are being threatened in some way.


Hunting and Eating

While it’s true that crows are very aggressive when they hunt for their food, the truth is that they are not considered good hunters.

Crows are opportunistic hunters and therefore prey upon animals that are smaller or unable to escape for one reason or another.

This is one of the reasons why crows often kill nestlings and even smaller adult birds.

Crows habitat facts
Crows habitat

While the crow’s diet is influenced by its environment – i.e., whether it is in an urban environment or out in nature – attacking and eating pigeons is commonplace.

One thing worth mentioning is the fact that crows are not the only animals that hunt pigeons.

Due to their docile nature, pigeons can be hunted and killed by animals such as:

This is especially true in the city because pigeons have become used to humans and their movements, and they feel comfortable walking near people and eating the morsels of food the people throw at them.

This means they are super-easy prey for numerous animals looking for something to eat.

Should You Kill Crows?

If crows are being a nuisance around your home, you may be tempted to kill them, but most people agree that killing birds just because they’re annoying or inconvenient is cruel and unnecessary.

Instead, there are some steps you can take to avoid the crows being killed.

Keep in mind that crows store food for later on, and if the birds are eliminated, other animals may discover that food and be poisoned by it.

Are Crows Considered Pests?
Crows are pests

If you care about animals, you’ll find other ways to avoid putting up with crows rather than killing them.

For example, you can monitor your pets at feeding time if you feed them outside.

Take away their food bowls when the animals finish eating, and try to feed smaller birds with feeders that are specially made to prevent larger birds from feeding in the same area.

Making sure the area surrounding the bird feeders is clean so that crows aren’t tempted to swoop down and eat the food is another way to reduce the likelihood of having a lot of crows in your yard.

Crows are naturally going to be tempted by any animal food that is left over, which is why removing the feed on a regular basis is a smart thing to do.

The cleaner the outside area is and the less animal feed found on the ground, the lesser the likelihood that crows will be a pest and an inconvenience.

It isn’t a guarantee that you’ll never see any crows, but it’s unlikely you’ll see too many of them roaming around your outdoor area.

Are Pigeons Always the Innocent Bird?

Another thing a lot of people don’t realize is that pigeons are not always as innocent as they seem.

In many cases, a pigeon will hold its own when being attacked by a crow, and more than one person has seen a pigeon actually take food away from a crow.

Are Pigeons Always the Innocent Bird?
Pigeons vs Crow

While it’s true that the crow usually wins in this scenario, the pigeon can give a crow a run for its money every time.

This is partly because when it comes to intelligence, both crows and pigeons are some of the most intelligent birds in the corvid family, to which they both belong.

While crows definitely have the upper hand when it comes to the way they are made and their overall strength, both birds are roughly on the same level when it comes to intelligence.


For Admiration: When being attacked, therefore, pigeons will still think of ways to outsmart crows that are attacking them, even though the effort may fail in the end.


In Summary

Crows often attack and kill pigeons to eat them, even though when you look at a crow’s diet, animals such as other birds are only a small part of that diet.

Pigeons are essentially defenseless against crows, even though the two birds are about the same when it comes to intelligence.

Most people have little to worry about when it comes to crows killing pigeons because they don’t have any pigeons as pets.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to protect your home from crows simply by using a few common sense measures such as making sure the feeding area is as clean as possible.

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