It’s no wonder Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee from Alice in Wonderland were so afraid of the monstrous crow. These cunning birds will do almost anything to guarantee their next meal.
But will a crow eat a rabbit, and how can you protect your floppy-eared friend?
Crows do eat rabbits as they’re omnivores (eat meat and plants) and will eat small prey animals such as baby rabbits (or injured rabbits). Crows are scavengers as well as opportunistic predators. They are brutal toward their prey as they don’t have sharp beaks and claws to kill like birds of prey.
Here’s a detailed guide to crows and rabbits and why these scavengers eat rabbits.
Do Crows Prey on Rabbits?
Crows do prey on rabbits as they are scavengers and predators by nature. While a rabbit makes for a good meal, you rarely see a crow preying on a healthy adult rabbit. Crows don’t have the sharp talons or beaks to hunt down and kill prey, as the larger birds of prey do (such as hawks or eagles).
The most effective and successful way crows can prey on rabbits is if they attack as a mob. Crows often attack animals in groups and peck at the rabbit continuously until it dies from its injuries. This brutal attack is known as mobbing.
Did you know? A group of crows is called a Murders.
A crow will kill one rabbit for food and feed off it for several days. Some animals, like raccoons, won’t eat a rabbit, but they will kill them.
Why Do Crows Eat Rabbits?
Crows are opportunistic predators, but they aren’t birds of prey. For this reason, crows usually only eat baby rabbits and sick or injured rabbits.
A baby, sick, or injured rabbit is much slower and easier to take down than healthy, fully-grown rabbits.
A crow will eat almost anything. They like to eat from garbage piles and eat the carrion from dead animals and road kill. If a crow is desperate (such as during the colder months when food is scarce), it will attempt to hunt a fully-grown rabbit. However, this is very rare.
Crows are very intelligent birds and prefer to hunt smart instead of hard. Their main diet consists of:
- Small reptiles
Crows like to scavenge around fields and close to roads for small mammals. If a crow comes across a nest of baby rabbits, it’ll take the opportunity to eat them, as this is an easy meal that doesn’t require much effort.
Are Rabbits Easy to Catch by Crows?
An injured, sick, or baby rabbit is easy for a crow to catch. Crows have also been known to chase their prey toward a busy road, hoping the animal will get hit by a car. This makes it easier for the crow to feed on the carcass (roadkill).
Healthy adult rabbits are much harder for a crow to catch, as rabbits are prey animals and good at evading predators.
Let’s take a closer look at why crows struggle to catch mature rabbits:
Crows Are Smaller
Crows are a lot smaller than other birds of prey. An average-sized crow is around 17.5 inches long and weighs between 11 to 21 ounces. As a comparison, a sharp-shinned hawk measures around 17 to 23 inches with a weight of approximately 4.9 ounces.
As a result, crows cannot snatch a rabbit from the ground and fly away with it.
They might be able to carry off a small baby rabbit, though (for a very short distance). If other birds of prey spot the crows’ meal, a crow won’t be able to fight them off.
Not a Bird of Prey
One of the biggest challenges for a crow (when it comes to catching rabbits) is that they’re not a bird of prey.
They have the killing instinct, but they aren’t equipped with the right “tools” to do the job, such as:
- Birds of prey, such as eagles, have sharp talons that can crush a rabbit’s skull within seconds, whereas crows have hooked claws that can grip prey but not kill them.
- Birds of prey have curved beaks that are strong and designed for tearing through meat, whereas crows have weaker beaks that are only good at pecking.
- Birds of prey swoop down on rabbits at a speed that stuns them, and then they carry them to their nests, whereas a crow attacks a rabbit by pecking at their tails and behind first. This usually sends the rabbit scurrying away.
Not a Regular Part of Their Diet
Rabbits are not a normal part of a crow’s diet. They prefer to scavenge around grasslands near where they nest.
Taking down a rabbit takes a lot of time, patience, and effort. Crows don’t usually attack rabbits unless they’re desperate.
Thus, a crow isn’t experienced in catching rabbits regularly, and often the rabbit gets away.
Ways to Protect Your Rabbits From Crows
Follow these steps to protect your rabbits from crows:
1. The best way to keep your bun safe from crows is to set up their living environment indoors. A crow will not go into a house.
2. If your bun lives outdoors, ensure their hutch is safe and crows can’t get access to the hutch. A trapped bunny will make an easy meal for a crow.
3. Crows usually hunt in the early morning and late afternoon hours. If you take your bun outside for exercise, ensure you cover their pen or supervise them. A crow won’t come too close if a human is around.
4. Crows are frightened by shiny and reflective surfaces that move. Hang some old CDs close to your bun’s living area to keep the crows away.
5. Playing a recording of a distressed crow also keeps them from coming near.
6. Cut down tall trees (crows like to perch and watch their prey).
My Last Bunny Thoughts
While a crow may not seem as intimating and monstrous as they are to Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, you can be assured that your bunny is just as afraid of a crow (if not more).
Even though crows don’t seem as scary as hawks or eagles, don’t underestimate these clever birds. They’re highly intelligent, and their cunning minds help them find a way to guarantee a meal.
Crows can be very cruel and will terrorize your rabbit by pecking at them if they get the chance. Ensure you watch your bun when they roam the garden, as a crow will take any opportunity it can.