Pigeons and crows: the story of the confrontation

photo: Fotolia.com

photo: Fotolia.com

Colossal damage to sports pigeons returning from the competition can be inflicted by ordinary gray crows.

A physically exhausted pigeon who could not return home on time and spent the night somewhere on the roof could serve as a good target for the ravens to attack.

The latter, like a pack of wolves, are well-organized and intelligent animals.

They are able to kill and destroy not only other feathered brethren, but also various small and not very animals.


The time of appearance of chicks in crows almost always coincides with the time of hatching of chicks in other birds. This has a certain biological meaning, since during this period the crows feed their chicks almost exclusively with animal food.

It was during this period that the raven’s aggressiveness towards other birds increased several times. As early as the week of their appearance, parents of pigeons start screaming loudly and demanding to be fed.

The crows react to this cry like a fox to a squeak of mice or a cry of a wounded hare. Crows are constantly spinning at the entrance to the pigeon nursery with pronounced aggressive intentions, look inside, often frightening even adult birds.

Pigeon breeders have long learned to protect their nurseries from crows. So, someone had invented “automatic devices” – metal rods fixed on one side and at the same time freely moving.

Usually they are hanged at the entrance to the dovecote, where the “automatics” open into the nursery, and the exit, where the twigs move to the street. Pigeons quickly get used to such a system and throughout the day constantly ply the street, then the dovecote.

Crows, being extremely cautious birds, almost never go into the dovecote, if there exists such a system of "automaton". Probably, the presence of metal moving rods causes them to stop at the entrance and not to penetrate.

But if, after all, a crow has penetrated into the pigeon house, something difficult to describe begins, similar to what wolves do when they get into a sheepfold.

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The crow almost completely destroys all the little chicks that are in the nests, and with particular cruelty she tears off each chick's head and swallows it, does not touch anything else. Next comes the next victim's turn.

I once witnessed such a pogrom. At the time of the attack, the nursery contained more than 100 pigeons, only a few nestlings able to fly on their own, all smaller chicks and eggs were completely destroyed, while adult pigeons left their dovecote and spent the night on the roofs of nearby houses.


They are trying to flip through the nursery on their own, their mass going out into the streets begins. Sports pigeons are usually released at a strictly defined and pre-calculated time, this is due to subsequent competitions, which take place in accordance with the schedule previously approved at the general meeting of the club.

Chicks out of the nursery very carefully. They stick their heads out through the "automatons", look at the street for a long time, remembering the location of their nursery, then, emboldened, they choose the pigeon house completely and finally fly to the roof of the nursery.

For the chicks comes one of the most crucial moments in their lives, often deciding their fate. It is at this time that increased attention is required to the chicks, since the crows are looking forward to this moment as much as the pigeon breeder raising its chicks.

Only they have different goals. The crows come for easy prey, their task is to scare the pigeons, make them fly off somewhere away from the nursery and then cruelly peck and feed their already requiring meat chicks.

Losses dove at this time reach about 10–15% of the total livestock.


In winter, the behavior of the crow is not much different from the behavior of other birds of prey, for example, the worst enemy of domestic pigeons – the goshawk.

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In some frosty days, when the raven especially pesters hunger, they become especially aggressive. The crows dive at a flying flock of pigeons, trying to repel individual individuals, and then begin to pursue them, all the while attacking from above.

If the pigeon managed to be knocked down in this way, several crows at once immediately attack him and instantly kill them. Sports pigeons very often, moving with great speed, break on the wires. The crows immediately appear and finish off the crippled bird.

These are the elements of natural selection that have appeared in our cities lately. The losses of pigeons from hawks, kites and falcons, according to my observations, are much lower compared to the damage that the city ravens inflict on pigeon.

The number of their strictly growing. So, in our yard, where my pigeon nursery stands, five years ago there was only one crow nest, now there are already six of them.



• origin of the pigeon (its pedigree)

• physical training

• feeding

• state of plumage

• presence in the native loft of a couple, chicks


Factors do not depend on a person and often cause or disorientation of pigeons, or create physical barriers to their return home.

• magnetic storms

• heavy rains

• headwind

• high or low temperature

• presence of birds of prey on the route of the flock

Separate pictures of raven attacks come to mind.

City courtyard, garbage. In the trash some kindly granny poured bread soaked in water.

Eternally hungry wild sizaris with frenzy begin to absorb the food brought. The crows are right there, they are not interested in bread, they flew for the meat.

One of the crows slowly comes up to the pigeons; they, carried away by the meal, do not pay any attention to it, but in vain. A lightning lunge follows, and the crow deftly holds the wing of one of the pigeons.

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Two other crows immediately run up to the first one and begin to brutally kill the poor pigeon, one with blows to the head, the second, pulling out from the still alive victim of the intestine.

And all this is in front of children playing on the playground. While I came down from the dovecote, until I reached the garbage, it was all over.

In September-October, sports pigeons molt very intensively. This happens for various reasons, the main of which is the end of the competition in mid-August. A molt lingers on constantly flying pigeons, as soon as the flights are stopped, the pigeons simply crumble, losing most of the plumage.

So, the middle of September, the sun is shining, quite warm. On asphalt puddles after yesterday's rain. In the morning, actively flying, a flock of sports pigeons decides to take a bath. At least forty pigeons climb into the puddle on the pavement and begin to swim.

The absence of dense plumage during molting quickly makes itself felt. Pigeons get wet and can't fly fast. The crows, who until then had been sitting apart, begin to hunt.

One of them simulates an attack from above, while the pack takes off with a noise. Part of the pigeons, which are particularly zealous to take water procedures, can not get off the ground and begin to frantically jump up and down in one place.

Immediately there are other members of the "flock" who attack the helpless pigeons. And if there is no master nearby, their fate is sad. Losses from such attacks during the molting period can amount to dozens.

Mikhail Vustin
                     July 19, 2019 at 15:05

. (tagsToTranslate) Russian hunting paper (t) Hunting (t) crows (t) pigeons (t) crows (t) dovecote (t) sports pigeons

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