[Tweeters]: Crows and a Cooper's Hawk cooperate.

Kevin Mack kevin_mack at comcast.net
Sun Jun 22 23:00:15 PDT 2008

Hi All,

I spent a little time today at Pine Ridge Park in Edmonds and saw something
I had never seen before. Shortly after arriving at the park, I heard an
angry crow mob. I followed the cacophony of caws to their source, assuming
that a bird of prey was the cause of all the commotion. Sure enough a
Barred Owl was sitting tight in a fir tree while the crows were doing their
best to convince him to leave. I watched the negotiations for awhile before
heading further into the park. Suddenly, I heard an accipiter's voice mixed
in with the crow calls. I returned to the site of the crow/owl struggle
only to find that a Cooper's Hawk had joined the crows in dive-bombing the
owl. Neither the crows nor the hawk paid any attention to each other. They
just concentrated on diving at the owl. I was surprised that the crows
didn't split their effort between trying to drive the owl away and trying to
drive the hawk away. I guess maybe they were willing to tolerate the hawk
as long as he was focused on the owl instead of them. The hawk broke off
his attacks on the owl after about 2 minutes and then flew deeper into the
woods. Perhaps he was aware that he might wear out his welcome and become a
target himself. At any rate, it was a pretty fascinating thing to see.

I did get a few photos of the Barred Owl when I first spotted him. They can
be viewed in my "New Photos" gallery here:

He moved into deeper cover shortly after the third photo was taken. I can't
imagine why :o).

Kevin Mack

Edmonds, WA


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