Do Crows Eat Rabbits?

Do Crows Eat Rabbits? The Ugly Truth About Crows

Humans look at baby bunnies and our hearts melt. But all animals don’t share the sentiment: Crows look at them and see their next meal! Do crows eat rabbits? Well yes, they do, but they are smart about it. Let’s see how.

Crows are omnivorous, they can eat nearly everything that they can peck on and kill with their beaks and talons.

They use their intelligence to prey on small animals, which also include rabbits.

In this article, we will explore how crows use their sharp minds to hunt and prey on rabbits, and how you can protect your pet rabbits from them.

Do Crows Eat Rabbits
Do Crows Eat Rabbits

What Do Crows Eat? Do They Eat Rabbits? 

Crows eat a wide variety of insects, larvae, worms, and grains. They also consume nuts such as walnuts and acorns in the fall and winter.

They can also prey on smaller songbirds and their eggs and nestlings.  

Crows love to feed on invertebrates such as grasshoppers, earthworms, and mealworms.

Crows are also opportunistic feeders of small animals like frogs, mice, other birds, and last but not least,  rabbits. 

Why Rabbits Are Easy Prey?

Rabbits are prey to a wide variety of animals. Unfortunately, these mild-mannered and timid creatures never evolved the tools to fight back when aggressors attack them. 

When they are afraid, they prefer to run away instead. This makes them a soft target for almost anyone looking for a snack. 

For crows, killing and eating baby rabbits, injured rabbits, or dead rabbits is super easy.

How do They Attack Rabbits? 

The usual chow for crows is a dead animal, which is an easy pick. Rabbits move (even though not as fast as crows), so crows aren’t exactly fond of chasing them.

That said, if a crow is hungry and doesn’t have other sources of food around, it can attack a rabbit.

Crows sometimes also use their wily instincts and smarts to trick rabbits into danger (more about this later). 

How Crows Choose Their Prey Intelligently 

The University of Connecticut describes crows as intelligent birds with sharp memories and superb problem-solving skills. They use these skills when choosing prey.

Crows Attack Baby Bunnies 

As weak prey, babies of many mammals are likely to be killed by crows. 

Baby bunnies also get attacked by crows. If one spots a crow near a rabbit nest, it is likely because it is here to prey on the baby rabbits.  

Here is a video of a crow attacking a rabbit nest to hunt for baby bunnies (Warning: it is graphic)

Crows Might Also Attack Adults, but More Carefully

Adult rabbits, both male and female are not easy prey for crows. If a crow is forced to attack an adult rabbit, it would use its beak and talons to injure it. 

Then it would wait until the rabbit is dead before actually making a meal out of it.

Another strategy that they use is to isolate a rabbit and then attack in groups (not for nothing is a group of crows called a “murder”).

Black Crow Perched on Tree Branch
Black Crow Perched on Tree Branch

Indirect hunting 

One extremely intelligent strategy that crows use is to chase down a rabbit until it reaches a busy road. 

The rabbit gets injured (or killed) by oncoming cars, and guess who’s waiting to swoop down and enjoy a free happy meal? 

These injured rabbits are an indirect and smart hunt for crows. 

How Do They Eat a Rabbit? 

Instead of tearing apart the flesh, a murderer of crows will peck on their prey to kill it. Then they divide up the carcass and feed on it later on.

Which is Faster, Crow or Rabbit? 

Crows are faster than rabbits. Even though rabbits are regarded as fast, their average speed ranges between 35 to 45 mph. 

On the other hand, an American Crow can easily cover between 30 to 60 miles per hour.

While you might think that their speed gives them an advantage, rabbits can always hide in burrows, which makes it difficult to hunt them.  

However, combined with the advantage of height and therefore ability to see farther, sharp talons and beaks, intelligence, and group hunting skills, rabbits are no match for crows.

How to Protect Baby Rabbits From Them? 

Pet parents can consider fencing the rabbit nests to prevent crows from coming near the rabbits. However, while fencing, one must ensure that there is a gap big enough to let the momma rabbit inside. 

Alternatively, one can cover the nest with a laundry basket or milk crate during the daytime. One can weigh down the same with bricks for added safety. 

What Other Birds Can Kill Rabbits? 

The list of birds of prey who can hunt down rabbits is huge. It includes: 

  • Screech owls, 
  • Bald eagles
  • Golden eagle, 
  • Northern Goshawk, 
  • Cooper’s Hawk, 
  • Red-shouldered Hawk, 
  • Red-Tailed Hawk, and 
  • Northern Harrier. 
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Great Gray Owl. 

The Great Horned Owl, despite being nocturnal, forages even during the day.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What animal kills rabbits at night?

Nocturnal Animals and birds, such as badgers and raccoons, can kill rabbits at night. Wolves, dogs, coyotes, weasels, and stotes are among the other animals that hunt rabbits at night. 
Domestic cats can also end up killing rabbits. If you have a pet rabbit and leave it outside without taking proper precautions around its nest, it is in danger.

How do I protect my rabbits’ nests from crows?

You can shield the roof of the rabbit’s nest by using objects such as a fire pit cover, wheel barrel, and tarpaulin. 
Alternatively, you can consider using a cinder block border around the rabbit’s home. However, you need to make sure that sufficient space is available for the mother rabbit to come in and out and feed the babies.
Crow on the Tree
Crow on the Tree

What is a rabbit’s worst enemy?

Wolves are generally regarded as the greatest threat to rabbits since wolves are known to eat rabbits as a supplement to their primary food source. If their primary food source is unavailable, wolves will eat rabbits to meet their nutritional needs.

What eats the head of a rabbit?

Great horned owls and red-tailed hawks enjoy devouring the brains and eyes of a bunny rabbit. They are likely to consume the head of the animal. In certain cases, cats and wolves are also responsible for eating just the head.  

Wrap Up

Crows are omnivorous and feed on anything and everything. And yes, this includes rabbits too. Crows are smart, they use their brains to pick out the easier-to-prey bunnies. 

This includes the babies, the injured, and the older ones. They use innovative ways to chase and kill their prey. Moreover, rabbits are slower than crows, making them relatively easy to hunt.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button