Crows seem to detest hawk and owls. The other day they mobbed the Great Horned Owl in the backyard before I could get a good photo of him. The owl was hooting in the middle of the day and it would have made a great picture, but the crows chased him off.
Yesterday, the local crow family went after a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks that had landed in the big oak trees in the backyard. What a handsome pair they were as they screeched at each other (or the crows, perhaps).
At least four crows surrounded an individual hawk, flying at it from all angles, one after the other.
Eventually, the hawks had enough of this harassment and left the area, still making their distinctive “kee-raah” call.
Despite their long soaring wings, Red-shouldered Hawks are birds of the forest, and I suspect their long tail provides the maneuverability they need to fly in and out of trees. They hunt much like a Red-tailed Hawk does, perching high and waiting for some prey animal to move before pouncing on them, but Red-shouldered Hawks station themselves more at the forest edge, and Red-tailed Hawks tend to hunt in more open, exposed areas.We have both Great Horned Owls and Red-shouldered Hawk nesting in the backyard, judging by calls I’ve heard from these birds over past summers. The hawks occasionally may actually join forces with the crows to chase Great Horned Owls out of hawk breeding territory. Interestingly, both the hawks and the owls will steal each other’s young out of the nest and eat them. That’s a different sort of population control.