Do Crows Abandon Injured Crows?

Crows live in groups and take care of their fellow crows. However, some people think these birds are evil and bring bad luck, especially a dead or injured crow, which is a myth.

Do Crows Abandon Injured Crows? Crows usually do not abandon the injured crows and provide food, shelter, protect from predators, and help them because they are cooperative, live in groups, recognize each other, show empathy to other fellows, and are protective. However, they can abandon or kill the injured crow if it gets disease or infection, have severe injuries, or attract predators toward their territory.

An injured crow needs help because it cannot fly if the injury is severe. Sometimes other group fellows help the injured fellow, and in some cases, they leave the bird and move away from this place. It depends on the type of injury, crow specie, and the circumstances around their habitat.

Why crows do not abandon injured crows?

Crows usually do not abandon injured fellows for many reasons, and some significant reasons for showing this behavior are explained below.

Cooperative behavior

These birds are social and share essential information because this is a natural behavior to survive in different environments.

They cooperate in many businesses, such as foraging food, building nests, and helping when a fellow crow is injured.

They do not leave the injured fellow and help it until the bird recovers properly and carries on daily activities as before.

They have a mutual sense of sharing resources, helping each other, and communicating to prevent potential threats around their habitat.

They share social connections and do not hesitate to cooperate when other specie needs their help in injured or stressful situations.

Live in groups

Crows live in several numbers and form groups to fight the danger from predators, search for food, and make a habitat. Their groups are called murders, and they often make a group of three to eight birds.

They recognize their fellow members because they have excellent long-term memory and do not forget the faces of family members when they live together.

They respond quickly to injured fellows when they recognize them because they feel responsible towards other crows.

Crows care for the sick and injured fellows and provide a suitable environment to recover soon. In addition, they stay near the crow and collect essential information about the injury to protect their territory and other flocks from getting injured.

They take immediate action if they observe a predator, which causes injury to their group fellow, as they do not want other members to face a stressful situation.

Show empathy to injured fellows

Researches show these birds show empathy to other family members and do not abandon the injured crow if they find it lying on the floor or in the nest.

They are more sensitive about their babies and eggs, especially in mating season, and show natural parent instincts to defend and protect the family members.

I found an injured crow on the roadside while walking home from my office. The bird made a cawing sound and called a flock of crows around it.

The birds picked up the injured crow and took it to their nest. This behavior shows they care for each other and have empathy, especially towards family members.

Protective nature

These birds naturally possess a protective and territorial nature. They do not allow other birds and predators to attack injured family members.

Crows protect the victim fellow, which shows they do not abandon the birds and help each other in stressful circumstances.

They are more protective of their young babies and take special care if they get sick or injured. In addition, they defend their territories and group members if they observe predators near them.

How do crows help an injured crow?

Crow makes cawing sounds and calls the group fellows to help them. Other group members take the injured fellows to the nest or other safe places.

They provide food to these birds, which helps them to recover soon and heal the wounds if their immune system is strong. They forage food and take it to the nest for sick fellows and feed them.

They also groom these birds to make them feel better, such as cleaning their feather to remove dust and parasites. It helps them to maintain the social bond and enhance their affection for each other.

They provide safe shelters to rest and recover because a peaceful and stress-free environment is essential for the birds to feel better and stand on their feet soon.

They help the injured group members by protecting them from natural predators, such as owls, snakes, foxes, eagles, and hawks. Crows do not allow these predators to attack the injured bird and mob in groups if they observe predators around their territory.

When do crows kill an injured crow?

They show empathy towards other crows, but they can kill them if the injured bird causes a threat to them and their territory.

Contagious disease

An injured crow can get an infection or a contagious disease because the injury can cause parasites and bacteria to enter their bodies through bruises.

The infection can spread to other birds in the group and infect them, which causes the adult and senior group members to kill the ill bird to save other group members.

They take essential precautions if the injury is little and there are more chances of recovery, and abandon or kill the bird if it gets a contagious infection or disease.

Severe injury

Some crow species do not kill or abandon other members even if they get severe injuries, such as breaking a leg or sensitive body parts.

However, some birds do not help the severely injured fellow and kill it because they cannot provide essential survival conditions, and the chances of survival are fewer.

Moreover, it also depends on the environment these birds live, such as the food availability, nesting places, and predators around their habitat.

They kill the specie member if there are no food resources to survive and provide for the sick fellow, or they have to migrate to other places due to weather changes.

Attract predators to their territory

An injured crow can attract predators and invaders to the nesting places, as the predators can sense the food source around their surroundings because the ill bird in the nest cannot fly or move.

Crows can kill or leave the injured group member if many predators roam around their territories to eat the bird. 

The nest places and other group members are at risk due to this sick crow; therefore, they prefer to kill it to save other flocks and keep predators away from their territories.

How to tell if a crow is injured?

An injured crow will be less active and not fly or move much to find food and water. Instead, it stays in the nest with visible wounds or bleeding from a body part.

It can have puffed feathers or lose its wings if they get wounds on the upper skin parts. The injured or sick bird cannot forage food and does not have enough energy in the body to fly and communicate with other birds.

These birds will remain quiet and keep their eyes closed because they do not feel like talking and move out from their nest. They start losing weight because of poor food sources and stressful circumstances.

It cannot stand firmly on the ground if its legs or feet are injured in the accident. Moreover, a predator can attack a sensitive body part, which leads to many health problems.

Severe sickness and injury can cause breathing issues or other health problems if nobody cares for the ill crow.

Therefore, it is better not to touch an injured bird and call the wildlife rehabilitator center to come and take the necessary steps if you find an injured crow around your house.

You can get disease or infection from the sick or injured bird; therefore, try to keep a distance from these birds and do not pick them up from their places.

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