Are Crows Afraid Of Owls?

While crows are notorious for their bullying, owls are the stealthy assassins of the avian world. And so, most birds tend to avoid both crows and owls. However, if it comes to a fight between the two, an owl will not only win but may also devour the crow’s entire family.  

So I guess a crow would be afraid of an owl as they wouldn’t want to get eaten up!

In this article you’re going to discover

  • Do owls scare crows?
  • Why do crows not like owls?
  • What do crows hate the most?
  • How do you scare crows away?

Sound good?

Let’s get started!

Do Owls Scare Crows?

They surely do.

In fact, nearly all birds are afraid of owls, ranging from small songbirds to impressive raptors such as eagles and hawks.

An owl sighting anywhere causes abnormal distress to the whole avian community.

And so, birds of different species try to mob the owl out of their territories.


Because owls are the freaky serial killers of the avian world. 

Perhaps, a more appropriate question would be asking, 

“What Makes the Owls So Scary?”

Generally, owls are dreaded because of their following characteristics:

1. Nocturnal Habits

Most birds are unable to see in the dark.

Consequently, they are active during the day and most vulnerable during the night.

However, owls have eyes wide enough to see in the faintest of lights. 

Most owls are nocturnal as they can clearly see in the dark.

Since, owls hunt in the dead of the night.

Which makes it hard for birds to even see them coming.

2. Exceptional Strength

All raptors have four toes, typically arranged as three in the front and one in the back.

However, owls have two toes in front and two in the back, giving them rather even footing.

This gives them more gripping strength.

Owls regularly use their feet to squeeze the life out of their prey.

Their talons are long and razor-sharp.

So much so that, 

If an owl decided to use its talons on your skull, it will easily dip into your brain!

Besides sturdy footing they also possess a 1.5-inch hooked beak.

These are sharp enough to tear apart all kinds of skins. 

Can you see why birds are afraid of owls?

They’re not be messed with!

3. Remarkable Senses

Raptors like hawks and eagles are utterly dependent on their eyesight for searching their prey.

However, owls rely on both their audio-visual senses.

While owls have excellent eyes giving them ten times the vision of an average hawk.

They are also equipped with ears that function like parabolic sound detectors. 

Owls can sense any prey scurrying away.

4. Stealth and Swiftness

Owls have broad large feathers with soft edges, giving them a wingspan up to 2 meters.

These wings allow the owls to fly with speeds exceeding 65 km/hour and without making any fluttering sounds. 

Furthermore, these permit owls exceptional swiftness. 

Owls can easily grab their victims in mid-air.  

5. Silent Death

Among the raptors, owls are the most vicious hunters.

While hawks and eagles swoop down, stun the surprised victim, and fly away with their half-dead prize.   

An owl does not like noisy and struggling prey. 

Therefore, owls tend to crush and eat their victims on the spot.

This typically involves an owl grabbing the prey with its talons, squeezing the life out of it.

If the prey is big enough, then the raptor will target its spine, eventually paralyzing it.

Owls shroud their victims under their wings to quieten down any resulting thrashing sounds.

So, the deed is done in absolute silence. Deadly! 

An owl’s victim does not even know what killed it. 

Since a dying bird may not even get a chance to warn its family members.

Therefore, owls can eat away entire bird families within just one night.

6. Fear Tolerance

Birds have limited brain space. However, they make the most compact use of it.

For instance, songbirds have a section of their brains reserved for orchestrating sounds.

This enables parrots to imitate human speech and crows to communicate within their families. 

However, most of the owl’s brain space is occupied by its exceptionally large eyes.

While the owl brain is wired for hunting, it lacks the Dorsal Ventricular Ridge (DVR) which functions like the mammalian amygdala. 

Since DVR is involved in judgment, therefore, it is assumed that owls have an exceptional fear tolerance.


Owls take unusual risks because they don’t perceive any consequences to their actions.

7. Entitled Behavior

Being a Potterhead, you may assume that all owls are as nice as Hedwig- the snowy Sweetheart.

However, owls are quite mean and entitled birds.

They often kill their kind over territorial issues.

They don’t even make nests but steal them from other birds.

Sometimes the first meal in their new house is the previous resident family.

All that explains why birds avoid owls.

Related article – Are owls raptors?

So why don’t crow like owls?

Let’s find out..

Why Do Crows Not Like Owls?

Because at night, crows are virtually defenseless, and owls are the lurking inevitable death.

You see, corvids gang up and bully their enemies.

Therefore, even birds like hawks and eagles avoid crows.

Owls are nocturnal, and corvids are diurnal.

One would expect, these birds would rarely cross paths.


Owls specifically search for crows’ communal roosting sites and eat them to their fills. 

Furthermore, owls often knock out parent crows and eat their fledglings right in front of them.

Ornithologists have discovered half-eaten crow dead bodies with explicit great horned owl markings.

This explains why Crows tend to mob out any owl passing through their territories. 

However, in several cases, an owl turns around during a mobbing and kills several crows.

What happens then is crows peck that owl to death.

The enmity between the two birds is so livid that they have genetically imprinted their hate. 

If a crow has never encountered an owl, it will still try to mob it out on its very first sighting.

Usually, it is theorized that “Crows hate owls the most”.  

What Do Crows Hate the Most?

Reflective surfaces and the predators they cannot escape.

The predator list includes mainly hawks, eagles, owls, and even humans. 

But crows normally easily mob hawks and eagles, out of their territories.

In fact, they even bully these raptors.

Yet, these birds of prey rarely try to subjugate a crow, much less eat it. 


Because crows always come back to avenge their fallen fellow.

So, unless an eagle is famished or a hawk is nesting, they will not try to trigger crow bullying.

However, owls lack a sense of fear and may take on all sorts of risks.

Besides, crows present a full meal and general availability.  

Owls often murder crows without a second thought.

Raptors aside, some humans are exceptionally mean to crows.

Besides, crows can recognize and remember human faces.

So, even if you are found touching or around a crow’s dead body, you will be assumed a threat to crows.

And so, you will immediately be added to their “Death Note”. 

Of course, crows are no Light Yagami, so you won’t really die. 

But they will leave no opportunity to harass you.

They will spread their poop on your car, your house, and even you.

Also, they will caw all the time or may bomb-dive you.

They may even tear apart your stuff.

Some crows can even harm your pets if they perceive you as a threat.

Don’t mess with crows because you don’t want them to think you’re a threat!

If you happen to by mistake get on the bad side of a crow

You’d want to learn how to scare them away

How Do You Scare Crows Away?

While no methods work perfectly for all crows, but you can employ the following:

1. Scarecrows

Instead of traditional scarecrows, I suggest life-sized owl dummies.

  1. Try getting a movable decoy.
  2. Put them up around some tree.
  3. Regularly change their positions to make them look convincing.

Alternatively, hang a fake dead crow upside down.

Make sure it can freely oscillate with the wind. 

2. Modifying Surroundings

I suggest you:

  1. Install roosting spikes on walls, fences, and roofs.
  2. Play crow distress calls, or make noise using wind chimes.
  3. Get Motion sensing water sprinklers.
  4. Put on reflective surfaces such as mirrors, old CDs, reflective tape, and aluminum foil.
  5. Affix sonic bird repellents. 
  6. Get 4-inch chicken netting.

3. Removing Attractions

  1. Cut down perching branches.
  2. Remove bird feeders. Alternatively, install feeders that exclude large birds.
  3. Get rid of insects and pests that may serve as crow food.

4. Others

  1. Discourage crows early in the winters before they settle in or make nests.
  2. Reduce outdoor lights.
  3. Remove nesting spaces.
  4. Call wildlife services for further guidance

Related articles

Do crows eat crows?

Can crows talk?

Do hawks eat crows?


Wrapping Up 

Crows are the bullies of the avian world.

However, owls are the assassins that hunt during the night.

Since birds are the most vulnerable in dark which is why even crows are afraid of owls.

Crows often mob out owls from their territories and so, it is assumed that crows hate owls the most.

But crows also hate predatory hawks, eagles, and even humans.

If crows are bothering you, then you can easily scare them away using few simple tricks mentioned in the article 

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