Sharpie attacks

Blake Iverson coopershwk at
Wed Sep 4 17:51:03 PDT 2002

The noise you hear from the crows is a sound that they make right before 
they get nabbed by a falcon, hawk or accipiter. You usually will hear it 
right before the hawk grabs it or is VERY close to grabbing the crow. I'm 
not sure the reason, it may warn other crows that there is a VERY dangerous 
hawk/accipiter (you know they're dangerous if they mess with a crow) and to 
either stay clear or to come help. But the actuall help call is very 
different and is also different I believe when they are caught and need 
help, and when there is a GHO or accip. or falcon around. Then other crows 
will come in unless the raptor is very aggressive. As far as the sharpy's 
behavior, if it's in the breeding season, it is possible it's a territorial 
thing, but birds of prey love to harass and 'play' with quarry or other non 
prey items like a crow (for a sharpy, because a crow is way to big). Merlins 
will be seen playing with swallows etc. but the birds usually know when the 
predator is serious and mobb it with all their might or get out of the way. 
With the crows reactions, the sharpy was probably being territorial, because 
I've seen crows and cooper's flying after each other and non were serious to 
get out of the way or take one down. I've even seen a female cooper's 
sitting on a chimney 4 feet away from a crow!! Obviously the crow new she 
was not hunting. Hope that helped.

Blake Iverson
Arlington, WA
coopershwk at

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