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Fri Jun 21, 2013, 02:56 AM

Blue jays and mockingbirds vs. crow

There are a lot of blue jays and mockingbirds in my area and today a crow flew nearby and landed in a tree. The blue jays let out their distress call and quickly attracted a total of 8 blue jays and about 4 mockingbirds. They followed the crow, surrounded it and took turns dive-bombing it until it left. This happened last week too.

What's interesting is the teamwork between the blue jays and mockingbirds. The mockingbirds responded just as quickly as the neighboring blue jays did to the distress call.

Has anyone else seen this? It was fascinating to watch!

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Blue jays and mockingbirds vs. crow (Original post)
onestepforward Jun 2013 OP
Curmudgeoness Jun 2013 #1
onestepforward Jun 2013 #2
Curmudgeoness Jun 2013 #3
onestepforward Jun 2013 #4
Curmudgeoness Jun 2013 #5
Aerows Jul 2013 #6
KatyMan Sep 2013 #7
onestepforward Sep 2013 #8

Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Sat Jun 22, 2013, 07:30 PM

1. This happens all the time.

I see it in my backyard with many other species of birds too. I have watched starlings and sparrows attacking a crow. They will also attack a hawk in the same way. All of this happens during nesting season, and since I have seen more than one crow raid a nest, I can see the strategy of songbirds sticking together in this.

It may be fascinating to watch, but I hate to see a crow fly off with a baby bird.....it really breaks my heart.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 22, 2013, 11:07 PM

2. Sticking together makes sense.

The crows are huge. I've never seen a crow fly off with a baby bird before

Growing up in west Texas, I was used to seeing blue jays and mockingbirds fight each other, thus the teamwork I've been seeing was quite different.

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2013, 06:57 PM

3. That is true, they do fight each other too.

I wonder---and I have not paid enough attention----do they fight when they are setting up territory, then cooperate after there are babies in the nests???? Or maybe they fight each other when there aren't other, more serious, dangers. I ended up raising a baby robin that a crow had taken from a nest, then dropped while being attacked. A neighbor saw the whole thing and brought the baby to me. That robin made it, was released, and came back to visit for at least 3 years.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 02:37 PM

4. I saw them fight after a mockingbird nest was made.

I'm pretty sure that eggs were laid too. I was a kid, but I remember my dad trying to help the mockingbirds that were being attacked with a water hose. There were about 4-5 blue jays attacking them.

How wonderful that you were able to help a baby robin and it returned for 3 years! That's really special. Thank you for doing that

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Response to onestepforward (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 24, 2013, 06:47 PM

5. How nice of your dad to try to help.

I just love mockingbirds, but don't see them here in PA. They were everywhere when I lived in Houston.

And it was when I lived there that I did wildlife rehabbing, so I knew what to do with that baby robin....and that is why they brought it straight to me. I would not suggest that anyone try who isn't trained, since it isn't at easy as it sounds. I would never have known what to do before I was trained, and I never would have done the right thing for a newly hatched baby. You don't have to thank me, that robin did the thanking by showing up and letting me know it was there.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Mon Jul 22, 2013, 10:24 PM

6. Blue Jays and Mockingbirds are the assault crew

When a crow shows up, they fly away. LOL.

Screwing with a crow in birdistry is like messing with a ninja. LOL

They have very long lives, that many birds don't.

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Response to onestepforward (Original post)

Mon Sep 23, 2013, 03:24 PM

7. saw something similar this past spring...

We have a fair amount of hawks in our are (west of Houston), but not often too close to our subdivision. We get lots of doves, little sparrows and blackbirds mostly. One day I was out and saw on the roof of our neighbor's house what had to be a hundred birds of various types making an amazing racket, and sitting right in the middle of the roof was a hawk, just sitting there looking rather bemused. Then when he decided to fly off, the whole troop took off with him and followed him as far as I was able to see. It was pretty neat to watch!
Saw a hawk demonstration at Dover castle in England and the same thing happened, all the birds in the area were dive bombing the hawk. Apparently the hawks don't really care according the the guy running the show.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 03:17 AM

8. I've seen that too

and it's amazing to watch! I've also seen the same bird-mobbing done to owls too. The smaller birds want them out of their area. Their technique works pretty good and they usually do drive the predator away. I always felt a little bad for the owls who were peacefully sleeping before being discovered and having to fly away during the day. I wondered if the bright daylight hurt their eyes?

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