Starting at 7:00 AM and ending just about two minutes ago, there has been a tremendous racket in my back yard. I counted eighteen crows and at least three ravens. I assumed they were mobbing a raptor, but I looked and looked without finding one. It appeared that the focus of attention was two crows on the ground, engaged in what looked like vicious combat. There’s no obvious blood or feathers strewn around, but the two have been tumbling and wrestling for a long time now and their struggles have covered several square yards of lawn. There are long minutes where the one on the bottom lies completely still, and then they’ll start tussling again, their talons locked and reaching out toward each other with their bills. Right now both birds are just lying there, breathing heavily.
Any thoughts about what’s going on? Do crows have battles for dominance? If so, I can see why a struggle between two crows would attract so many other crows, and why would ravens appear?
I'm tempted to go out and see if the combatants would separate but I’m also thinking maybe I shouldn’t interfere. What do you all think?
Maeve Kim, Jericho Center