A Crow’s Tail

Cuteporter Annie K. found this on The Corvid Blog. The blog says their rather sneaky behavior of creeping up and giving their prey’s tail a good yank is just part of who they are…the little finks. Are you the guys who wake me up in my backyard every morning?









  1. Janet in Cambridge says:

    Corvids rock! They are smart and sassy. They’re just doin’ their job! They don’t intend to pull the feather out, just yank on it to let the larger predator know they’re not welcome.

  2. For me crows are all named Randalf after Randalf Flagg of The Stand. So when a crow is cawing at me from a lamp post tend to tell him: Oh shut up Randalf!
    This as earned me some surprised looks form stangers in the past 😆

  3. One of his best books, by far.

  4. Talk about getting rear ended .. ouch

  5. Sassy little devils 🙂

  6. Most of the all black birds in these photos are ravens, not crows.

  7. PhysicsProf says:

    And the black and white ones are magpies–do we have them in the U.S.?–but they are all corvidae.

  8. Blue Footed Booby says:

    We do not. Magpies are Europe only.

  9. Bettymouse says:

    The Black-billed Magpie lives in North America. I’ve seen ’em in Alaska.

  10. Scout C says:

    Looks like a “goose” to me!

  11. skippymom says:

    This is redonkulous.

  12. skippymom says:

    I saw them in a park in London years ago and was trying to figure out what they were; suddenly my brain, out of nowhere, said “Magpie.”

  13. I believe you’ve got 2 crows, a young Eagle, an Osprey, a Hawk and an Eagle in the mix. Not certain on the other one.

  14. Flufferbutt says:

    I grew up in Southern Idaho – magpies are everywhere there. They’re feisty little buggers.

  15. Cheeky little buggers!

  16. Kari Callin says:

    I can not find enough words to describe how much I love the corvid family! They are SO smart! I still have a crow from a mated pair harassing me after rescuing their baby from a deep window well at my apartment! Crows kick their babies out of the nest and finish raising them on the ground, and their not-so-wee one had gotten himself stuck in a 3 foot cement hole. I just looked at the baby, as the parents screamed above me, and said “Well, this is going to end Great for you. Me? Not so much.” LOL And so I have a crow screaming at me then barreling at me from a block away to perch over my head and scream (which is only guess),”Die infidel, die! You touched our child! You must DIE!” LOL I love crows! 😉

  17. Kari Callin says:

    Oh, forgot to add: The baby was put in the bushes, this was 3-4 weeks ago, and I actually saw the baby up flying around, following the parent who was screaming at me that day. SO glad the baby made it! 😉

  18. Hover: “It’s who we are . . . and it’s what we do.” HAW!

  19. skippymom says:

    Hooray for death-defying baby crow rescue!

  20. Technically, ravens are part of the crow family. So they are in fact crows. Magpies are also crows.

  21. And in my world, all turkey vultures will always be Virgil courtesy of my friends (including Virgil) at the Raptor Trust in New Jersey. Here’s his story: http://theraptortrust.org/the-birds/family/virgil/ and here’s The Raptor Trust: http://theraptortrust.org/. They are amazing people!!

  22. That’s where the problem arises – they’re all members of the “corvidae” family but not the species known as “crow”. No matter the species, all corvidae are wonderful, cool, fascinating, smarter-than-all-get-out birds who are a delight to be around.

  23. Birdcage says:

    You mean “CAW”!!!

  24. Blue Footed Booby says:

    SCIENCE FACT: Crows can actually pass grudges on to their young.

    A University that was studying crows had grad students wear masks so they wouldn’t spend their academic career getting mobbed every time they went outside after the first tag ‘n’ release run.

    They put radio trackers on a generation of babbies, and followed them after they grew up and set off on their own. The no-longer-babies would freak out and yell at the people in masks *even if they’d had no first-hand experience with them.*

    This may sound like a little thing, but suffice it to say it’s not.

  25. This is very cute and everything, and yeah sure these birdies are darn cheeky, but I just keep thinkin’ I’m looking at the torn-out pages of of a Wiccan calendar.
    Just sayin’.

  26. OMG! We’re all in complete subjection to the critters. First it was the kittehs, now it’s the corvids. Owned I tell you, we’re owned.

  27. Kari Callin says:

    I’m okay with being the one they pick on. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been to the crow rodeo! lol What was REALLY funny is that after I put the baby in the bushes, the parents promptly ignored it and proceeded to attack/ dive bomb my head as I walked to work. A woman came to stand by me as I waited to cross the street, and the convo went like this:
    Me: “Uhh, you might not want to stand too close to me.”
    (crow dive bombs my head)
    Her: “OH MY GOD! Why are they doing that?!?!” (and quickly walks away from me)

    LOLOL 😀

  28. petless in Puddletown says:

    Yup, eastern Oregon too. And handsome!

  29. petless in Puddletown says:

    The PBS documentary about this ended thusly (I paraphrase): “So while we are watching crows, THEY are watching US.” As it should be!

  30. There are magpies all over Alberta.

  31. Is this the corvid equivalent of walking up to someone and giving them a wedgie?

  32. 6rabbits says:

    @ Blue footed Booby: There was a documentary (Discovery? Animal Planet?) about that exact experiment! It included other fascinating corvid abilities, also. It is amazing how intelligent they are–I gained a whole new respect for these birds!

  33. 6rabbits says:

    Okay…what word threw me into the mod lounge? Any icy drinks to be had around here? [checks fridge] Ooooo…chocolate ice cream bars in the freezer! yum!

  34. 4leafclover says:

    It’s a cat!

  35. 6rabbits says:

    A Murder of Crows, PBS online.
    Hopefully this link will take you there!

  36. lisaLASSIE says:


  37. The second one is a Steller’s Sea Eagle
    Living along the Russian Pacific coast
    they are even larger then the Bald Eagle

  38. Yep. Horribly noisy things, but pretty to look at.

  39. Such smart birds, but some of them don’t know when to quit. I saw a video of a crow repeatedly tweaking a cat’s tail and then fluttering out of the way when the cat turned. And then the cat did a perfectly-timed turn-and-pounce, and the crow was seen no more.

  40. Popkissed says:

    I don’t know how to embed a photo but I’ve got about 30 of my kitty watching said documentary. We were hanging out on the bed before I had to go to work one day and about 15 minutes in, the cawing got her attention and she promptly moved to the end of the bed and was transfixed for the next 45. I then got up to get ready for work and restarted it for her. She was still there 30 minutes later when I came in to get dressed. When I tried to get something out of the dresser that the television was on and got in her way, she TOTALLY craned her neck to look around me. To this day, I STILL can’t believe it help her attention for so long. I guess we both found it fascinating!

  41. They are very clever indeed. I put suet cakes out in cages to feed my garden birds. I then watched the crows grab onto the cage wires, flapping their wings and bouncing up and down until they forced the cages open. The cake fell out and what would have fed small birds for a week was gathered up three beakfuls. I tie twine around the cages now and that’s foxed ’em, but they still sit on the fence, and you can see they are trying to work out what to do next.

  42. hollys_mum says:

    I’ve seen magpies do this to squirrels in my garden

  43. Brinke, your Tessio/Godfather hover-text reference is not in vain. I thought someone else would comment on it before now though.

  44. oops

  45. Apparently these boids have NOT heard Jim Croce sing: “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape; you don’t spit into the wind; you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with….”

  46. I thought it was Randall Flagg? Are you mixing it up with Gandalf?

  47. Deirdre says:

    Corvids play–there’s a great vid on youtube of a crow repeatedly sliding down a windshield after a really thick, dry snow. So I wonder if tail pulling isn’t part play–they certainly LOOK like they’re up to something.

  48. meriweather says:

    See article: “Crows (meaning Corvus, not just the crows with the common name “crow”) …”

  49. Well that crow was asking for it pestering that cat like that.