Red Shoulder Hawk- Annoying crow


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Aug 27, 2012
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Orlando, FL
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Does anyone know why these hawks let crows dive bomb and pick on them? There has been many times when I see a crow bothering these hawks. Then I look at the size of the hawks talons, and I'm thinking, I would just that crow a quick swipe, then no more crow.

The IQ on these are pretty bad, because I was far away, and my camera suffers big time when trying to get things far away with a bright background. I am posting them more just for fun and to see if anyone has anything to add.

In the one pic, you can see the crow sitting there on the branch behind him, he would dive bomb him a couple times then sit back on that tree. THEN the hawk all of a suddon was sitting there with one claw off the tree and it looked like he had it in "strike" mode waiting for the crow to try again. lol

I kinda like that last one, with the talon up.

The behavior you're referring to is called "mobbing." Typically, it will be two or more crows that "gang up" on a hawk or eagle or osprey. And yes, with those talons, one fell swoop and that crow would be history. So, why don't the hawks (or other raptors) do just that? Why do they LET the crows (and other birds--mockingbirds will do the same thing, as will blackbirds, and probably others) harass them?

Good question and one I often wonder. The best answer *I've* seen to date, is that frankly, it's just not worth the energy output to the hawk. Plus, crows are quite scrappy and even if the hawk does kill it, the crow is likely to inflict some damage, and an injured raptor is a raptor that may just miss its next few meals.
It's easy to fault the crows and think they are just big "bullies" but remember, a hawk will gladly snatch a baby crow out of the nest for a little late-morning snack.

Now, you get those crows attacking that hawk if the hawk is near its nest and has babies? That's a whole different story and is likely to end very badly for the crow. :D
Good information.

This is the same tree, the hawks like to..."play" in...

The animal world fascinates me. They are who they apologies... There is something pure and uncomplicated about that. Thanks for sharing this, Parker. You caught some good shots btw! :)

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