VIDEO: Crow Combat

Two American Crows fought so viciously I thought one would kill the other. They physically entangled for over 12 minutes, one holding the other down and not moving for minutes at a time. I had never seen this behaviour before so I checked the literature.


The Birds of North America online says that crows generally avoid most physical contact, except in late winter and spring when vocalizations and patrol flights occur. When they do fight it's usually "over food and territorial trespass, 2 opponents jump-fly at each other, belly to belly, pecking and clawing, or they stand near each other and one tries to grasp the other by extending a foot; both birds may lie on their sides trying to grab each other's feet, or one bird stands on belly of other (Killiam 1989, Faucher 1994)."


Reference: Verbeek, N. A. and C. Caffrey (2002). American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.