Scavenging Birds

Evaluating Predation by Scavenging Birds
Vultures, ravens, crows, magpies and some gulls commonly scavenge carcasses. In some circumstances, they may attack live animals and kill those that are unable to escape or defend themselves. Initial attacks by these birds are usually at the eyes and nose, navel and anal area. Typically, they blind the animals by pecking out the eyes even if they do not kill them.

Scavenging Bird Predation – Description
Vultures, ravens, crows, magpies and some gulls commonly scavenge carcasses. In some circumstances, they may attack live animals and kill those that are unable to escape or defend themselves. Initial attacks by these birds are usually at the eyes and nose, navel and anal area. Typically, they blind the animals by pecking out the eyes even if they do not kill them.

Magpies may attack the anal area and back as well as wound sites on healthy adult livestock under certain conditions. Unhealed brands and other wounds, such as saddle sores on horses, are preferred sites for attack. This is not a common occurrence, except possibly in northern states during severe winters when food for magpies is scarce.

Some hawk species also scavenge carcasses and may attack small animals that are not able to defend themselves. Hawks generally seem to attack and begin feeding in the shoulder or ribs.