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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