Murder of Crows Defends Fallen Chicks from Hawks

I was in the backyard playing with my new cell phone (This was filmed on a Galaxy s5) while my Mom was gardening when we heard this: -Swoosh- -Thud-d- noise and only a couple feet next to me the bushes moved.

At first it sounded like someone threw something in our back yard but then we heard a bunch of crows screaming really loud. I thought that maybe one of them flew through the yard and hit a bush and crashed or something. I started recording and went over to see what it was.

I looked down and saw two baby crows (chicks) on the cement side-walk. Keep in mind that the video was recording in real time and we didn't know what was happening.

One of the chicks was already dead and the other was on it's back with blood coming from it's mouth and still alive. It was obvious that it was not going to survive. I couldn't figure out how they would have gotten there - it seemed as if they just literally fell from the sky. There was no way there was a nest above were and like I said I heard them actually come in at an angle and fall as if they were being thrown across the sky - not falling down.

My Mom didn't see what was happening and thought they were still alive and that I was scaring the parents from coming back to get it. She didn't see that they were already dying and that there was no way they were going to be able to lift these babies. I'm pretty sure that crows wouldn't be able to carry their chicks - especially of this size and definitely not two of them.

That's when I looked up and heard a different type of bird cry - an eagle/ falcon and I quickly realized what must have happened. The falcon must have grabbed both of the babies and took off with them. Then the crows must have chased after it and forced it to swoosh down and it dropped them right in our back yard. It's sad because if they would have landed only a couple inches to the left it would have been on thick grass and they most likely would have survived.

As I looked up to see what was happening I noticed that there were 2 other hawks and about 6 crows in an aerial battle. They were flying all over attacking, dodging, and fighting with each other - screaming the entire time. This continued on for about an hour with neither side giving up and flying away. Since they all knew where the babies were they stayed almost directly above us the entire time. At one point a crow came back down and you could tell that it was checking to make sure the babies were dead - looked down, cawed really sadly and flew away to tell the others.

We waited a few hours to make sure they didn't want to come back again - they didn't - before we buried them. The falcons didn't come back either- there was absolutely no way the crows would have allowed for that.

It's coincidental because I was researching crow intelligence only a couple days before this happened. I read that they will go back and visit their parents when they get older, they can recognize and remember individual faces, solve multiple stage puzzles, will engage in play and games even sliding down snow, use tools, and are considered on par with dolphins and apes in terms of intelligence.

There was definitely a sense of emotion, intelligence, and community - and especially revenge going on that day. It wasn't just the parents but an entire group - on both sides - defending and then attacking. The falcons hunting in a group was just as interesting.

The day this happened I was so caught up in filming it that I didn't really take it in. I had been testing out my new cell phone's camera so when this happened I was excited that I had something so exciting to practice filming. It wasn't until the next day when I went back to watch what I had recorded that it made me sick to my stomach and really sad. I'm a huge bird fanatic and we buried the chicks right next to where I also buried my four budgies (parakeets) that had died about a year ago after being brutally attacked by what had to been rats when we were out of town.

I couldn't make the video until for a couple weeks but I thought I would share it because it's like a crazy wild life clip but from my back yard in suburbia.

It's also synchronisitc that it happened in our backyard when we were 10ft away and I already had my camera in hand. Not only that but I've been doing a "wildlife in suburbia" project where I take pictures of the animals in my yard as if they were in the wild. It got a little too real that day though!

3d Pictures: (Cross your eyes to see)

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