Do Crows Eat Roadkill? Will They Scavenge On Dead Animals?

Crows are perhaps one of the most common birds that we see around us. The crow is also a bird with a unique personality. By nature, crows are intelligent, friendly, curious, and funny.

Crows can recognize you, hold a grudge against you and eat all your available foods and even crops. They are famous for eating just about anything and everything. It makes one wonder, ‘do crows eat roadkill?’ 

Are you also curious about the query? Read on to unravel the mystery. 

Do crows eat roadkill? 

Yes, crows do eat roadkill. 

Crows belong to the family Corvidae and are grouped as carrion birds. A crow is famous as an omnivorous bird and as a scavenger.

It is famous for eating carrions, i.e., the decaying or rotting flesh of an animal that has been killed by another animal or other circumstances like a road accident.  

Crows can flock and eat roadkills. When eating roadkills or other food items, they will be alone or in pairs, they often consume in bulk and flee to a safe place to digest it.  

Related Read: Do crows eat rats and mice? | Will they attack or prey on them?

Why does a crow eat roadkills? 

The digestive system of crows can digest almost everything, including roadkill and decaying meat of dead animals. In fact, crows have a liking towards dead animals’ meat.

Older meat is considered tastier and softer for crows and it is also accessible for them to consume with age. Moreover, their digestive system is robust enough to suppress possible contamination and poisoning.  

Crows are not birds of prey and would kill for meat only in extreme circumstances. They prefer other animals to kill prey and feed on them.

Instead of killing small animals like rabbits themselves, they strive to push them onto busy roads so that they meet with an accident and die. Post-death, they happily feed on it. It constitutes a major source of protein for them.  

Related Read: Are Crows Protected Birds? Is It Against The Law To Kill Crows?

Do dead bodies attract crows? 

Carrion birds like crows are naturally attracted to dead bodies and roadkill. It is almost similar to a shark finding its prey’s blood in the water.

Though it is not yet clear, it is estimated that the crows would find it through its smell or through eyesight.  

Will crows eat a dead bird? 

Crows are nature’s disposal bag. They gladly feed on any dead animals. Hence, if they spot a dead bird, they would eat it happily. They can scavenge on just about any dead animal and bird.  

Related Read: Do crows eat pigeon eggs? | Why do crows attack pigeons?

Do crows eat their dead? 

Yes, crows can eat their dead. In fact, they live in family groups and tend to fight a lot, both within and outside their family.

A fight within the family is rarely serious. A fight outside the family is usually to defend food, mates, or territory boundaries.  

Sometimes the fight takes a deadly turn and proves fatal for one involved crow. This usually happens when one crow was injured, sick, or too weak to take any assault, or was merely killed accidentally.  

Related Read: How Do Crows Sleep? Crows Sleeping Habits | Ways In Which Crows Sleep | Facts & Routines

Potential dangers of eating dead animals  

A dead animal’s meat can pose several hazards depending on the reason of death, duration after which it is consumed, etc. Some of the possible risks include: 

  • Excessive bacteria, if present, can transmit disease. 
  • Previous carrion-eaters might contaminate the meat.  
  • If the animals died due to a hunter, their meat might have poison from the lead arsenal used in the killing medium.  
  • Contamination of pesticides.  

However, like most carrion birds, crows boast a robust digestive system. Their stomach acid is powerful to kill most disease-causing bacteria.

Moreover, their digestive system cannot detect the lead and toxins present in dead animals’ meat. All these factors make the crows quite resistant to these threats. 

Related Read: Do Crows Make Good Pets | What Should One Know Before Considering Crow As A Pet

Wrapping up  

Well, that was all about crows and roadkill. We hope you enjoyed knowing about this interesting facet of crows and would look at them from a new perspective.

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