Fish Crows: Egg Thieves

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Crows are smart, and because of this I’m somewhat fascinated with them. They’re not particularly attractive birds, but they have a lot of ingenuity. I’ve read stories of crows working together to steal food from gulls. One comes up behind the gull and pulls a tail feather, distracting the gull. When the gull looks away, the other steals the food. That’s some smarts.

with Egg

But this aspect of crow behavior I’m not so fond of–they are exceptional at stealing eggs. I’m told they’re particularly good at stealing eggs from wading birds, since most are colonial nesters. Crows have learned how to return to the scene of the crime and steal even more eggs. The other day I photographed these fish crows with some egg they had stolen. I have no idea what kind of egg this is.

And to me, this egg looks a bit too large for the crow to carry in its bill. But somehow it must have managed. They know how to crack it open and take the yoke out of the egg. In one photo, you can even see some of the yoke in the crow’s bill. These crows were pretty far away, so the pictures aren’t great, but I thought the behavioral dimension of the photo made them worth showing.

Fish Crow with Egg

Fish Crow with Egg

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

, based in Florida, is a lover of nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. Scott became interested in photography in 2001 when he was given his first SLR camera. When he acquired a telephoto lens, he became progressively more interested in birds and other wildlife. Scott enjoys learning about bird habitats and behavior, striving always to take images that are both beautiful and interpretive. Scott believes photography is a great vehicle to help others to appreciate the wonder for the stuff of earth.

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons, based in Florida, is a lover of nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. Scott became interested in photography in 2001 when he was given his first SLR camera. When he acquired a telephoto lens, he became progressively more interested in birds and other wildlife. Scott enjoys learning about bird habitats and behavior, striving always to take images that are both beautiful and interpretive. Scott believes photography is a great vehicle to help others to appreciate the wonder for the stuff of earth.

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Deb Barker

I live on a pond in the Tampa Bay area. Every spring a pair of crows show up to raid fresh water turtle nests in our yard to eat the eggs. They also kill and eat fledglings and food they find in trash. They used our birdbath as their dining area. It got so messy and gruesome at times that I finally had to empty it until they left.

Karen Jeffery
Karen Jeffery

Scott I live in Playa Del Carmen half of the year. This past winter we saw a grackle take a hummingbird right out of the air and tear it to shreds! Have you ever heard of this happening? We were dumbstruck! Karen