What’s All the Crowmotion?

LizzieLou | nablopomo,wildlife | Friday, November 30th, 2012

First the gull started squawking. Then the crows started shouting and assembling en masse, mobbing I suppose you’d call it. (One would think one was tossing an old chicken thigh out onto the yard but one was really inside minding her own business.) On closer inspection, there was something happening on the roof next door. A bird was molesting another bird on the steep slope. I wasn’t sure why this would make all the crows upset until I realized that it was a hawk of some kind trying to kill one of the poor pigeons that roosts up there. I think I’ve seen this hawkish bird around before. I grabbed binoculars and the crappy camera, but I was too late to catch any of the action since one of the neighbors had come outside and was making a bunch of noise on his own. A little bit later, Ocho was looking out the front window and emphatically cherping. I peaked out and that hawk was perched on the wire in front of the house. I grabbed binoculars and the crappy camera again, but again by the time I got to the front window it was gone. I went outside to the backyard to look around and there it had returned to the roof next door, perched high on the chimney. The crows were continuing to monitor the situation and swooped down to sass the hawk who clung to the roof for a while, until finally they seemed to succeed in driving it off.

The hawk had a roundish body and a long tail with stripes across it, a light colored chest with brown flecks, and yellowish feet. It had a slight resemblance to a chicken when it ran on the roof, and it’s wings were… wingish. Looking it up later I think I have identified it as a Sharp-shinned hawk.

I totally needed my camera-toting entourage!


  1. Wouldn’t a group of crows be “murdering”?

    Comment by Eelaine — December 1, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  2. That’s what that hawk was trying to do to that pigeon, who – you may be relieved to know – seems to have survived the attack. Either that or a new pigeon came into take its place pretty quickly.

    Comment by LizzieLou — December 3, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  3. Naw, I have no love of pigeons. Nasty rats with wings (which is an insult to rats, which are actually very intelligent creatures and great pets).

    Comment by Eelaine — December 6, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

  4. I LOVE pigeons. We had a nest outside our office several years ago. And then there was the incident where some unknown was shooting blow darts at them downtown and for several months there were pigeons with little needles sticking out of their heads wandering on the sidewalks.

    Comment by LINSEY — December 10, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  5. We had pigeons make a nest right on our balcony. We moved the nest and they kept coming back. Had to mesh off the entire balcony for an entire year to discourage them (looked like we lived in a maximum security penitentiary). Pigeons are fine walking around parks and bothering tourists. Hate them trying to live on my balcony.

    Comment by Eelaine — December 12, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

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