Are you wondering whether crows can help control the population of snakes in your yard or generally whether they eat snakes? We dug deeper into this topic, below we share our research.
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Do crows eat snakes?
Crows are scavengers and will eat both dead and live snakes just like ravens, hawks, owls, and falcons. Crows can attack and kill small snakes such as garter snakes or other small garden snakes. However, snakes can also kill crows with their poison or struggling them especially big snakes such as pythons.
The size of a snake attacked by a crow will determine whether it becomes a prey or predator.
Do crows attack snakes?
Crows can attack and kill small snakes such as garden snakes and garter snakes. However, while crows can attempt to attack bigger snakes such as cobras and pythons. They will end up becoming the food for the snake.
Snakes such as cobras have smaller birds such as crows as part of their prey. Their venomous fangs make it easy for them to catch and eat crows and other birds such as guinea fowl.
However, the young pythons and other venomous snakes such as cobra or rattlesnakes are no match for the crows.
Crows attack snakes by pecking on their head while keeping their distance. Whenever a snake tries to attack the crow, it will fly away circling the snake purposely avoiding the snake bite focusing on the tail of the snake and the head.
Once in a while, the crow will strike the snake fly with it drop it, and continue with the pecking until the snake dies.
A lot of patience is required by the crow to kill the snake, as it will involve tiring the snake and eventually striking the snake on the head for the final kill before eating it.
The video below shows a crow attacking a small garden snake by striking it head over and over.
Can snake venom kill crows?
Venomous snakes such as king cobra and rattlesnakes bite can easily kill a crow. These snakes use their venom when hunting and will not hesitate to eat a crow. There hasn’t been enough research conducted on whether crows are immune to these snakes’ venom.
There is a video on youtube which i will embed below showing a crow attacking a medium sized python. Pythons do not have venom but rather strangle their prey, suffocate them before eating them.
If a crow encounters a large python they will end up becoming a meal for the python. Python are way too large for the crow to handle.
However, crows will not shy away from eating dead snakes whether it is a python, king cobra or rattle snake. Most of these snakes are eaten by crows as carrion especially when they killed by vehicles when crossing the road.
Or when they die as a result of being bitten by other snakes or animals.
Do crows fear snakes?
Crows do not fear snakes at all. A crow will try to attack a snake when they see one, irrespective of size.
The mode of hunting the snake is the same, strike at the head while avoiding the bite of the snake at all cost. However, ambush snake hunters such as rattlesnakes can be deadly to the unsuspecting crow.
Do snakes eat crows?
Snake are notorious predators of crows eggs and nestling, they will also not hesitate to kill and eating crows that found by the snake brooding on their eggs.
However, crows can gang up against snakes and drive them away from their nest or make a meal out of them.
Can crows help control the snake population?
It is unlikely that crows can directly control the population of snakes, earlier research conducted on whether crows can control the population of other birds such as songbirds found that, crows cannot actually control the population of the songbirds.
Therefore, while crows will hunt, kill and eat snakes, they are unlikely to control the snake population. However, combined with other snake eating birds such as owls, hawks, eagles and falcons.
Crows may be able to control snake population especially because crows also eat rodents such as mice and rats that are part of the snakes’ diet.
However, exclusive research on this subject needs to be done to establish how effective crows can be in the control of snakes such as garden snakes.
What kind of birds eat snakes?
Apart from crows there are other birds that hunt, kill and eat snakes. These birds include:
Can a raven eat a snake? Ravens can also eat snakes just like crows and their mode of hunting snakes is very similar to that of the crows. They will keep on peaking on the snakes’ head and avoiding the snake bite until the snake tires and then the raven will go for the final strike killing the snake and proceed to eat it.
Do crows eat garter snakes? Crows do eat garter snakes especially the American crow. The small size of garter snakes makes them an easy target for the crows. Garter snakes are not considered overly poisonous especially to humans, they also lack an effective means of delivering their venom. This fact makes them an easy target for the crows.
What do crows like to eat the most? crows favorite foods include but not limited to small pellet cat or dog food, unsalted peanuts, vegetables and fruits, nuts, eggs, small dead or live animals and carrions.
Snakes are part of the crow’s diet whether as carrion or alive. Crows can hunt, kill and eat snakes depending on their size. While snakes are prey to crows, crows can also become prey to snakes. Snakes such as king cobra, and rattlesnakes are poisonous enough to kill a crow.