Increase in crow population

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    Has anyone else seen an increase in the crow population in the past few years? I live in the Gatewood area. The crows seem to have proliferated. Not only are there more crows, they seem quite aggressive. Last year I saw a group kill a baby robin and I’m sure they killed a baby jay. The local jay family is not nesting in the back yard because this spring they were constantly harassed by the crows. I’ve also observed crows chasing other unidentified birds.

    Just wondering.



    There have been a lot of crows in the Seattle area generally for a long time. We’re getting into the time of year that they start getting more aggressive because they have babies of their own (on the campus where I work, we’ll even put up warning signs near their nests because they can and do dive-bomb people–they’ve never actually attacked anyone but the swooping can be unsettling). They’ll especially go after raptors because raptors will kill baby crows.

    Urban and suburban crow populations are increasing. They’re scavengers and humans provide lots of opportunities, particularly trash–I’ve watched them go through the garbage cans at the University of Washington. They’re very systematic about it. They’ll also raid unsecured residential garbage cans and dumpsters.

    This is a pretty good site on our local crow populations and behavior. I really like them myself, they’re very smart, recognize human faces, and use tools. But they can get pretty territorial especially in spring and summer.




    I couldnt agree more. We live in the Gatewood area and the crows seem to be showing up more and more. I cant beleieve how aggressive they are! Yesterday a large crow was standing in my potted plants and pulling out all the pansies I had just planted! He pulled all of them out before I was able to run out there. I’ve noticed them chasing lots of other birds too…



    I’ve noticed an increase too in Gatewood. They do very close flybys of our home and often seem to use our 3-story roof/gutter as a vantage point. A couple seem to hang out on the parking strip and don’t seem to get scared away even when our car is a few feet away.



    Datamuse spelled it out well – they get very aggressive during nesting. I was hit in the head by one in Wallingford once as I walked under its nest. Got hit by a red-winged blackbird once as well during breeding, and once by a kestrel (although in the kestrel’s defense, I was on a ladder with my hand in the nest box). The crow and blackbird incidents were pretty shocking! You just don’t expect bird attacks.



    Unfortunately, such is the life of the animal kingdom. I love them just as much as the other birds however. I was actually thinking there is a marked increase in robins in my neck of the woods. Over the weekend I saw several chasing a crow around. I’m thinking the crow was getting a little too close to their nest, as previously mentioned.



    Some years ago I spoke with a naturalist at Camp Long about the crow population and he said that a contributing factor to the rise and fall was due to the cyclical nature of the raccoon and opossum population. As rabies, mange and distemper thin out the furry populations the crows loose fewer eggs and babies, plus there is more food to scavenge. I have not seen opossum in a couple of years and it seems the raccoon population is also down. There sure are murderous bunches of crows.



    Haven’t noticed an increase in crow numbers, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Crow populations tend to mirror human ones. I love their intelligence and raucous beauty, although it is disturbing when they kill the fledglings of other birds. Robins seem especially hard hit.



    I’d rather have a bunch of crows in my backyard than a bunch of jays. I never thought I’d hate any bird’s early-morning squawking more than a crow’s… until a couple jays started hanging out on our power lines. OMG.




    Timeslid, I love you for using the term “opossum.” I’m a sucker for correct species terminology. ;-)

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