Crow eating a blackbird

A while ago I  had a comment from a lady.   She told me that in May last year  she saw  a crow pluck a blackbird off the hedge and eat the blackbird.
Before you read this – don’t let it put you off feeding birds – there is a lot of fun to be had feeding birds
I was telling a friend about the blackbird being eaten by a crow and she told me that in the car park where she works two crows were pecking a live dove to bits. She  rushed out, the crows flew away but the dove was so badly mauled it died.
The crows kept on maurauding round the car park looking for the dove they had lost.
Nature is raw and harsh.
Here in her own words is the lady’s story about the crow taking a blackbird. –

We have a breeding pair of blackbirds in our garden (or did have).

The female was wise and had learnt to flap her wings to balance herself whilst she fed on the feeder that she was not meant to fit on to.

Unfortunately, I have just witnessed a crow, pluck her out of the hedge row, and despite my efforts to scare it to drop her, the crow flew off and promptly devoured her. So yes crows do kill birds…Not so keen on crows at the moment


No neither am I.
The crow breeds between April and June. I wonder if the crow was finding food for it’s young, or if the crow population is getting bigger.
It is sad that a blackbird dies and a crow survives.  It may be that crows that will multipy and the blackbirds reduce in number.
Here is some information

  • Crows are completely black.
  • They nest in trees and are solitary birds, unlike rooks who nest in colonies. 
  • Crows have  a black beak. Rooks are black with a pale beak. 
  • As well as eating smaller birds crows eat seeds, fruit, insects, eggs, kitchen scraps, small mammals, amphibians, snails – I could go on.

  I  myself was horrified when ages ago I watched a crow eating a blackbird.

I couldn’t describe how bad it was to watch. I did not know if it had found a dead blackbird or if it had caught a live blackbird. I think now it must have caught the blackbird when it was alive.
Crows eating birds must happen a lot. I have seen it happen, a friend has seen it happen and the lady who sent this comment has seen it happen.
Surely it must happen unseen all the time in among the hedge rows and trees.
With a predator like a crow to contend with birds certainly don’t need cats prowling about  after them .
Cats are domesticated and get fed by their owners.  Yet, cats can kill all the time, not just when they are hungry.   I have seen cats killing birds  a number of times – once when we had a stray cat move into our house

I have also had trouble with rooks and crows at the birdtable in my garden

Maybe cats and crows are two of the reasons for the decline in some birds – sparrowhawks may be another.


8 thoughts on “Crow eating a blackbird

  1. Shell

    I didn’t know crows ate larger birds. I knew they could go after chicks and eggs and also eat off carcasses, but I never imagined they would kill a Blackbird or Dove. This is so very sad because songbirds need to exist too.

    I think once the Swallows are here the garden birds will become more vigilant to what’s around as the Swallow give off a very audible alarm and seem to be very alert most if not all of the time.

  2. Trish Post author

    I never thought about crows eating blackbirds until I saw it with my own eyes.

    I have heard that swallows warn other birds about danger,but never really thought about it. We always get swallows here so maybe swallows have been warning the garden birds for years


  3. Shell

    The Swallows usually give off a persistent alarm call which is separate from their twittering. The call seems high pitched and sounds quite alarming. Sometimes you may see them dive bombing/swooping making that sound.

    Some birds may also make the alarm call if they are hungry.

    If I hear any bird and in particular Swallows make an alarm call I usually go and investigate. Swallows seem to be extremely good at alerting other birds to danger.

  4. carol

    i have seen a crow attack a swift and then eat it alive ,i always thought crows lived on road kill now i know better

  5. Trish Post author

    Carol, it must have been upsetting for you but it is an amazing thing you have seen. It must have happened in flight did it?
    There seems to be a reduction in swift numbers and I just thought the swifts migration must be the cause. Never thought it could be closer to home. Bird eating Bird

  6. Tina

    I just saw 2 crows attack a blackbird in a tree where the crows have a nest one crow flew off with the blackbird sqawking it has upset me and made me angry with the crows, i think its seeing a bird eat a bird

  7. Trish Post author

    Hello Tina

    It must have been a shock to you. We’re so used to birds being sociable and each species nesting and flying near each other.

    Below is a link to a short video that I took a while ago. It shows rooks and blackbird on the ground together getting bird food.

    thanks for getting in touch. This is nature and we have no control over it so we have to accept it.

    I have put your comment on Bird Table News

    Trisha 11 May 2012

  8. Frances

    I have just watched a Crow thump down onto a blackbird and fly off with the blackbird screaming.
    I was 2 foot away from the incident looking out onto my office roof from my kitchen window which I had just put some food out onto. I will find a safer place now to put bird food.

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