In spring, crows and ravens get jealous of all the attention that wood-warblers receive from birders. Sometimes the jealousy overwhelms their big corvid brains and they come up with crazy schemes to win the attention that they believe they deserve. For example, Fish Crows will actually swoop in and eat warblers you are trying to watch.
Don’t believe me? Well, I managed to digiscope this behavior at Jamaica Bay this past Friday. Check it out!
So, North American birders, help save a wood-warbler and boost the self-esteem of a corvid this spring by paying some attention to your local crows and ravens. You, the wood-warblers, and the corvid will be glad you did!
Oh. My. God. That is just unbelievable. What a capture. I’m stunned! I actually watched a crow diving after some little bird in Riverside Park in Manhattan yesterday, and couldn’t figure out what was going on. Um, maybe now I know more than I can handle…
This isn’t funny! My cousin was eaten by ravens.
Another little-known fact … Fish Crows chew their cud in order to feed their young.
Looking at the pristine quality of the wear on the breast feathers and lack of stomach juices on the warbler, together with the date this picture was taken and the apparent alertness of the prey, I’d say this picture is of the initial take rather than a subsequent chewing of the cud. Additional pictures and field notes could help in the final ID. You might consider submitting this record to NYSARC.
Some birds will do anything for attention.
A review of the more relevant litterature might reveal that this is more like those oxpeckers inside the jaws of gaters; A convenient and commensal arrangement. Maybe it’s an evolutionary attempt to cure the raspy throat of Fish Crows. Then they might be able to sound out that canary like song they have hidden in there..
@Out walking the dog: Watch out for those corvids. Nasty creatures they are.
@Rich and Jory: I will have to watch more carefully next time…
@Matthew: You’re related to a wood-warbler? How does that work?
@Yoni Lingham: One might also extend your comment to bird bloggers.
That Yellow-rump appears to be quite content to hang out in the maw of that Balrogish corvid!
No corvids here (or not many), so if one would pop up, I sure would watch it.