When it comes to arch-enemies, several pairs of animals, like cats and mice, wolves and elks, mongooses and cobras, spiders and flies, and pythons and alligators, may come into your mind. It’s high time to add another pair, crows and owls, to the list.
So, do crows attack owls? The short answer is absolutely yes. A murder of angry crows can attack, harass, peck, mob, and even kill an owl if the owl mistakenly comes out before sunset, and the flock of crows spots it. Diurnal crows cannot tolerate nocturnal owls during the day.
There might be other reasons why crows attack owls. In this article, we’re going to talk about all that. Once you finish reading this article, we would recommend you take a look at our previously published article on the difference between crows and ravens.
Related Blog: How Much Weight Can A Crow Carry? [Read now]
Why Do Crows Attack Owls?
There is no definitive answer about why crows chase and attack owls. However, some reasons are out there to occur battles between crows and reasons. In this section, we’re going to talk about a few of them.
1. Owls Often Prey On Crow Eggs and Babies
The main reason is owls prey on crow eggs, chicks, and even adult crows. Crows have poor eyesight at night. When they’re roosting at night, they become defenseless, and the owls take the golden opportunities.
2. Crows Attack Owls to Reduce Their Risk of Predation
Since owls often attack crows, the crows always try to reduce the risk of predation by attacking the owls. Typically, crows consider owls to be a great threat to their territory. Therefore, they counterattack once they notice an owl in the daytime.
3. Crows Have Strong Dislike to Owls
The battles between crows and owls exist before human evolution. Both types of birds have an intense, strong dislike to each other. One reason could be that crows are diurnal and owls are nocturnal. Therefore, once encountered, they can’t tolerate each other.
Why Do Crows Chase Owls In Stories?
Many years back, crows were white, and they were considered to be the prettiest birds around. Pretty soon, the most beautiful crow became arrogant. He often praised himself like he had the prettiest set of wings and colors.
On the other side, an owl who had a dying shop lived in a nearby tree. He could dye any color to birds’ feathers. One day, the crow came to the owl. He greeted the owl and said that he had admired the owl’s work. The owl was happy with the compliments.
So, the owl asked the crow what the owl can do for the crow. The crow had plans to be much prettier. He wanted the owl to make a special color for him. He also told the owl that the color should the best in the universe so that he could be the most beautiful bird.
Then, the owl agreed to make a special blend of paint for the crow. However, he told the crow to come in the next day. The next morning, the crow came back to the owl, thinking that nobody would be as beautiful as he.
When the crow arrived, the color was ready and had been poured into a bucket. As soon as the owl told the crow that it was for him, the crow jumped into the bucket, saying he was finally the prettiest. However, he screamed once looked at himself.
He should, “black?” By now, the owl had realized his mistake, the crow chase him to punish him. Since that day, the chasing behavior between crows and owls has been running. Therefore, crows are likely to attack crows whenever they see one of the owls in the daytime.
Why Don’t the Owls Fight Back?
There might be several reasons why owls don’t counterattack crows. Since crows believe ‘strength in numbers’, owls are afraid of them. Once a murder of crows attacks a single owl, the owl is unlikely to fight back. This is because he tries to escape in order not to be killed.
For your information, crows are diurnal, meaning that they’re active during the day. On the other hand, owls are nocturnal, which means they remain active at night. Owls just wait for nighttime to attack when crows are not active.
Which Types of Owls Crows Attack?
The owl species crows usually attack and chase are:
- Great Horned Owls
- Barred Owls
- Eurasian Eagle Owls
- Great Gray Owls
- Snowy Owls
- Blakiston’s Fish Owls
- Pygmy owls
- Burrowing owls
- Saw-whet owls
- Elf owls
Anyway, if you experience crows mobbing other types of owls that we haven’t included in this list, please inform us below in the comment section. We will add the species further.
Can Crows Kill Owls?
Crows don’t usually kill owls during chasing, mobbing, and attacking each other. The main purpose of mobbing is to drive the owl away from the territory. During the mobbing activity, crows can do significant damage that could lead the owl to death.
If many crows mob the owl, and the owl is unable to get away, it can be killed. However, we don’t experience such an incident while birding. If you notice a dead owl after a battle between a murder of crows and an owl, please let us know.
Do Owls Attack And Eat Crows?
Yes, larger owls, like great horned owls and barred owls can attack and eat crow eggs, babies, and even adults, especially at night when crows have poor eyesight and are defenseless. Great horned owls, for example, leave the headless crow bodies behind.
Even though owls have meat tearing beaks and sharp hooked talons, they don’t use these things while fighting with crows. However, the Arctic nesting Snow Owl, which flies as fast as a falcon, can take large prey directly in the air.
Generally speaking, diurnal crows don’t usually encounter nocturnal owls because they’re active in different periods. However, if owls mistakenly appear during the day, the flock of crows will attack them. Owls can counterattack during nighttime when crows are defenseless.
By the way, we hope you have learned a lot about whether crows attack owls or not. If you have ever experience crows mobbing an owl, you can share it with us below in the comment section.