Date: 5/8/20 2:34 pm
From: John Connors (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Murderous Fish Crows
Hi All. OK, that header is a little harsh. What follows is a little
grotesque, so the feint of heart should not read on.

So a pair of Fish Crows has adopted my bird bath as their killing pool. In
the last three days I have found the dismembered carcasses of eight
nestling birds, along with some pieces of bread. I've caught the culprits
at the bath once. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they would eat their
victims, but they seem to just eat parts. These poor nestlings apparently
came from three nests. I couldn't ID species but there were clear size
differences each day. This afternoon there were four unfeathered nestlings,
and the head of a larger one, and only one of the smaller nestlings was
partly eaten. Quite the waste. I've emptied the bird bath- don't really
want to encourage them.

Maybe a decade ago I had a similar experience with a nesting pair of Fish
Crow that fixated on the same bird bath. They would wash victims but then
fly off with the remains to feed their own young. An occasional leg or head
would be left in the bath water. That kept up until one day I heard them
screeching bloody murder. I grabbed binoculars and looked up in the
neighbor's pine where they had their nest. A Red-tailed Hawk was
dismembering their own nestlings.

Don't know how this macabre scene will end. Stay tuned.
John Connors
Raleigh, NC

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