Crow Attack!

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Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

I just witnessed three crows predating my grackle nest. The grackle nest is about 60' away from the martin housing and, located about 40' up a sycamore that is still leafless.

The crows were cawing away while being dive-bombed by the grackles -and- by many martins. It will be a shame if the grackles abandon that nest site. They have been martin allies, giving early warning of hawk attack from their nest in the sky. They also help themselves to scrambled eggs from the martins' platform feeder.
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"
~Patrick~
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:42 pm

While still living in my native Houston, we had a blue jay nest in the top of a 30 foot pine tree in our back yard. Crows raided that nest and carried the young blue jays away. Here in Fort Worth, I had grackles raid a mocking bird nest and killed all the babies. They didn't eat any, just threw them out onto the driveway. Scenes like these are hard to watch and difficult to accept, but that's the way of the natural world. I'm ony an observer.

Patrick
~Patrick~
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:42 pm

By the way, I intervene when I can. I'm not one to "just let nature take it's course" if I can help out. That's one reason why I'm a martin landlord...

Patrick
Guest

i saw a crow going after a robins nest last week. don't think he got anything that time but i'm sure he came back. about 20 mins later, a grackle was harrassing the same robin nest. it's too high to see into, but it's probably been wiped out by now.
Bob Flam

Thats too bad Mary. I made a platform with a roof for robins a couple years back. I happened to be in the bathroom, where you could see it from the window, and saw a crow raiding the nest a robin had made in it. I had been checking the nest with a ladder and she had eggs. The crow smoked them. I don't know if he just broke them or ate the insides?

She abadoned it and built one in another tree by the house. I moved the platform against the house wall up, under the roof overhang. But, it never was used again.

I like the robins, we have alot here in Iowa. They too are great predator alert sirens.

bob
Bob Flam

I have to admit I was astonished watching the martins come in a bit ago.

There is another sy girl here today that wants to stay here. She doesn't have a mate and I have no single males. When all the pairs went in, she went over to the housing and sat in front of the lone occupied room on the house. The pair using it was inside. I curiously watched to see which room or gourd she'd go to for the night...or roost on the porch...or leave to roost in a tree? She sat there quite awhile.

I'm sitting 20 feet away in the doorway to the padio watching anxiously and I heard the martins inside chortle or say something to here. And she went in their room...silence...and she never came back out.

I've seen martins communally roost together in a room, but not during nesting time in a room thats being used. That ones a 1st on me :shock:

bob
Bob Flam

oops! that was supposed to be a new post :oops:
Glen Webb Jr
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:03 pm
Location: Illinois/Stewardson

:lol: I thought that was sorta out of the blue. :lol:

BTW though, I've seen that before. But only with a female roosting with a pair. Never have I seen a male enter a nest with a pair of martins unless it was very nasty weather and they were communal roosting.
J Getting
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 7:49 pm
Location: Iowa/Grundy Center

I'm still trying to attract martins and I have a couple of crows in the neighborhood... Will that hurt my chances in getting martins?? Jim
RC Moser
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:25 am

IMO no. Crows will ruin off any hawks and owls the catch in the area. Usually don't bother PM's too much. If you have single small compartments it may be a risk, but what can you do about it other than enlarge the compartments and put guards on you set up.
CUL Lou~Mich

Jim. I sure hope not, cause I've got a bunch of them. I've only seen them one time raid a robins nest. That was several years back. When anyone of the other birds see one, they all join in, and chase him out of the area. CUL Lou
Bob Flam

Jim, I agree with Lou and RC. It shouldn't bother the martins that crows are around.

At my colony in town there are crows nesting within view of the martin housing. They always have, they only got my robins nest a few years back, but it never bothered the martins.

I also had a Kestrel nesting even closer. That didn't bother them either. The martins ran the Kestrels off after the colony was 2 years old. :-(

And now at my new house there is a Red Tail Hawk nesting in trees right behind the house. I could see the nest a month ago, but now that the trees have fully leafed I can't see it anymore.

Again..hasn't bothered the martins none.

bob
Jschneider
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:37 pm
Location: Beaufort, NC

Just had a crow at least large black in color bird grab one of martins right off the porch. The rest of the Martins chased the bird off, but worried lost 4-5 Martins over last 2 weeks and this may be the cause. Any thoughts ?
G Saner
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: TX/Kerrville
Martin Colony History: Fort Worth, TX (1967-1976), The Colony, TX (1981-1985), Carrollton, TX (1986-2013), Kerrville, TX (2015-present).

Two SuperGourd poles (12 gourds on each) at River Point Assisted Living Center.

At our former home, we placed nesting platforms under the eaves for doves to nest. They did this undisturbed for a few years until the crows found them. The crows would toss the dove eggs into the air and eat them whole. After that, the crows regularly patrolled the platforms and the doves never raised any babies again. Crows are super smart and can communicate with each other.
G Saner
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Jschneider wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 6:40 pm
Just had a crow at least large black in color bird grab one of martins right off the porch. The rest of the Martins chased the bird off, but worried lost 4-5 Martins over last 2 weeks and this may be the cause. Any thoughts ?
It's a hawk. Put up a Martin decoy or two on the perches above your house. If you can't put them on the perches, put them as high on the house as you can.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

Brad Biddle wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:44 pm
Jschneider wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 6:40 pm
Just had a crow at least large black in color bird grab one of martins right off the porch. The rest of the Martins chased the bird off, but worried lost 4-5 Martins over last 2 weeks and this may be the cause. Any thoughts ?
It's a hawk. Put up a Martin decoy or two on the perches above your house. If you can't put them on the perches, put them as high on the house as you can.

Brad,

Also put them around the edges of our gourds about 15 to 20 feet away. When the hawk busts in to get a martin leaving the gourds he will divert his attention to the easy target sitting on the post. I've saved martins all season with this method. The hawk will go from decoy to decoy trying to carry it away then give up. Knock on wood but I've not lost a martin to a hawk this season. Look for my thread about "Decoys save the day" and you will see pictures of how I did it.

Just yesterday a hawk beat up my two decoys and left when I walked out side to scare him off.

Coolwhips
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