American Crow Diet & Hunting Techniques
One would be hard pressed to name all of the different types of food that American Crows consume. The diet of these omnivorous birds runs the gamut — small birds, bird eggs and nestlings, tadpoles, frogs and toads, snakes, turtles, small mammals, fish, insects, clams, nuts, fruits and carrion.
Crows use a number of techniques in obtaining their food. They find most of it as they’re walking on the ground, occasionally they probe just under its surface. You often see them lifting and flipping leaves, cow pies, sticks and small stones to see what creatures live beneath them. Crows have also been known to stand belly-deep in water as they hunt for fish. In addition, they sometimes hunt from a perch, pouncing on prey they see, and catch flying insects and small birds on the wing. Crows have even been observed using “tools” such as pieces of wood to probe for insects.
If their prey is large, crows will place it under one or both feet and tear pieces off with their bill (see pictured American Crow with road-killed Eastern Chipmunk it retrieved).
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