Crows are a common enough bird that is found almost everywhere except South America and Antarctica. They like wide, grassy areas with trees, preferably in a temperate climate. They are widely found in urban areas as well.
Crows are omnivorous scavengers who are quite versatile in their food. They are often called opportunistic feeders as they would eat almost anything that they can lay their hands on. They are notorious egg thieves and actively search for bird nests with eggs. But do crows eat rabbits? Read on to find the truth!
Do crows eat rabbits?
Answering straight to the point, ‘Yes, crows do eat rabbits.’ Rabbit meat is not their first choice, but they do not hesitate to kill one for food if alternatives are not available. Moreover, they prefer young bunnies to adult rabbits.
Crows are aggressive predators and hunt their target brutally. They target any animals like baby rabbits, small insects and any animal they can carry with their beak. They prefer to carry it to their nest to kill and eat.
Rabbits are not preferred by crows. They would hunt them only if they do not find any other available food. Same way, they prefer young bunnies as they can be carried easily with their beaks. If they need to target an adult rabbit, they prefer doing so in their clusters, called murders.
Rabbits as crow’s prey
The nature and traits of rabbits make them easy prey for crows. Being an herbivorous animal, rabbits feed on leafy foods and fruits. By nature, they always run away from predators like the crow. It is this trait that makes them prey for the crows.
Virtual Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington states that crows often force the rabbits to flee from the fields to the roads to protect themselves from the crow’s attack. On the roads, they get hit by speeding cars and die. The hungry crows then devour them as their meals.
Do crows attack rabbits?
Habitually a predator and a scavenger, a crow will take on anything if an opportunity is presented to them. That is why they are called an opportunistic predator. Hence, crows would not hesitate to attack a rabbit in the scarcity of food and when an opportunity presents itself.
Hence, even though crows do not have the same hunting and killing skills as any other predator birds, they would still go for the kill, both individually and in groups.
How does a crow eat a rabbit?
Crows have decently sharp beaks and claws that help them tear the flesh of their meal with ease. But unfortunately, it is not sharp enough to make killing an easy business. Thus, they take a much longer time to make the kill compared to many other predators. This has been proved comprehensively by observing their hunting activities.
Other predators can kill their targets with a single bite in a few seconds. But crows take a few minutes of endless pecking to kill their prey. But what makes them stand out from other predators is their unique trait- intelligence.
Crow-the intelligent predator
We all have heard the story of the thirsty crow. It is an emphatic story proving the intelligence of crows. Belonging to the family of ravens, crows count amongst the few intelligent animals in the world.
It is interesting to note that the crow’s brain size is slightly smaller than the humans. Showcasing intelligent behavior, crows tend to stay away from any possible danger. Given their weak predatory skills, they prefer eating a corpse instead of a chase or a fight.
In the same line of smart thinking, baby rabbits are always their first target instead of an adult rabbit. This is because it is easier to catch a bunny rabbit and kill it for food. But crows will not hesitate to kill an adult rabbit and enjoy fresh meat if the opportunity presents itself.
Even though crows are not too enthusiastic about chasing a rabbit and killing them, they are smart to lure and drive the rabbits into danger where they get injured or killed.
Another interesting fact to note is that even though rabbits are renowned for their speed, they cannot beat a crow. The average speed of a rabbit ranges from 25-45 mph. In contrast, a crow’s flight can reach up to 70 mph.
We hope that you enjoyed knowing the predator-prey relationship between the crow and the rabbit. Next time, do take care to protect your rabbits and bunnies from the ever-present crows!