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UBC research shows crows start gangs before fighting other birds

Crows have been making headlines in Vancouver recently for swooping attacks on innocent civilians.

In fact, so many crow attacks have taken place that an interactive, user generated map called CrowTax was created.

<who> Photo Credit: CrowTrax.

This video shot over the weekend at Vancouver’s Spanish Banks Beach serves as further evidence that crows are tactical, terrifying menaces.

In the footage, the small group of crows can be observed attacking a much larger bald eagle and successfully scaring the bird off.

A new study from UBC shows that crows often pick fights with larger birds, such as ravens, and they often come out on top.

The study, titled “Why do crows attack ravens? The roles of predation threat, resource competition, and social behavior” drew data from bird watchers and “citizen scientists” from across North America, revealing that both crows and ravens are highly intelligent species, but it’s the crows’ social nature that allows them to come out on top.

<who> Photo Credit: Screenshot of eBirds Map. </who> eBird reports of American Crow in North America, 2008-2018.

According to the research, before crows attack they use their highly developed social structure to quickly form small groups that often overtake larger birds like ravens.

The proof can be seen in urban areas where crows far outnumber ravens due often winning territorial battles against ravens.

<who> Illustrator Phillip Krzeminski.

Research has also proven that crows are highly intelligent and can remember human faces for up to six months.

To read the full study, click here.

Stay safe out there.

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