Crow claw carrying fresh starling for lunch

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Brian Hill

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Jun 7, 2022, 7:58:57 PMJun 7
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Parked at Maddox Cove around lunchtime today there was a sudden flurry of activity with 3 or 4 crows streaking out from the shore on the left in hot pursuit of a starling skimming low over the water. View was momentarily disrupted as it passed behind the window post and dashboard of the car but the next thing to be seen was a crow heading back to shore with a black object held in its claws. On landing on the rocks it immediately started pecking away at it and then took off with it in its beak to the trees. There was about another dozen starlings nearby in the trees looking on, no doubt very quietly. Because it disappeared from view at the crucial moment I don't know exactly how the crow got hold of the starling. It may have grabbed it in mid air but more likely, I think, it was toppled into the water where the crow could more easily snatch it.
I don't know how common this is, even just carrying something in its claws. A quick "Google" search was of little benefit with some sources saying they never carry anything. However, there is one article from 1884 in which crows in Maine were observed taking sea-urchins from shallow water with their claws.
Anyhow, I just thought it was an interesting and unexpected event, and if anyone had anything to add.
Brian
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