Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crows vs. Seagulls

Pretty much every day, right outside my window, there's a war being waged. It gets pretty ugly at times.

It's crows versus seagulls, and it's hard to say who wins. Both birds can be pretty aggressive, though it's the crow that seems to start the most shit. But do they? It would also seem that the crows are reacting to the seagulls coming in and pillaging their food supplies. I can never tell who to blame for the fighting.

Let's look at the tale of the tape. The gulls are larger, but the crows are smarter. The gulls have a more lethal-seeming beak, but the crows have talons, as opposed to the webbed feet of the gulls. The gulls are bigger individually, but the crows are better at bringing in their friends for an unfair fight. At the end of the day, it's a closer battle than you might imagine.

I will say one thing: the crows don't fuck around. I regularly see them doing a vicious loop maneuver, going up about 20 feet and then dive bombing the gull at full speed. Add that to the previously-mentioned mobbing behavior, and the usual result is that the gull is high-tailing it out of the neighborhood, screaming at full volume, with a couple of crows chasing it off and calling it presumably hurtful names on the way. Also, the crows seem more organized. The gulls tend to cruise in by themselves, but the crows, like some well-trained paramilitary force, stay evenly spaced at various lookout points along treetops, light posts, and electricity poles, waiting for the slightest hint of invasion (and reacting with prejudice when the inevitable gull comes by).

I'm less than a mile from the ocean, and down at the shoreline, the gulls are undoubtedly kings of their domain. But here across the street from my home, at a parking lot of a mini-mall in seemingly sleepy suburbia, I have to acquiesce that the crow is the baddest bird around.

Game: crow.


coco floyd said...

Just googled this exact question and came across your blog �� What a sight!! I wish is captured this on camera defo crows were winners in this battle of badass birds haha

profwatson said...

I agree with you, but you need to clean up the language. The Crow and the Seagull are both scavengers. Now the Raven, is a much bigger bird and rules the sky.

Wingspan: 3.3 – 4.9 ft. (Adult)
Mass: 1.5 – 4.4 lbs (Adult)

California Gull, Length can range from(18 to 22 in), the wingspan (48–54 in) and body mass can vary from (0.948 to 2.304 lb).[2]

crow: (16–21 in) in length,with the wingspan ranging from (33 to 39 in). The body mass can vary from (11.1 to 21.9 oz). Males tend to be larger than females.[8][9]

John Call said...

Well said! I'm sitting in a coffee shop watching these dynamics play out in the parking lot. Grew curious about why the somewhat larger gulls here are generally giving the small murder of crows their space, even ceding the desired ground to them and standing back to watch. It was five crows messing with each other with about eight gulls spread around watching. Decided to Google and found this post. Pretty much sums up my brief observation.