A murder of crows swamp Cinereous vulture in S'pore the moment it finally flies away

Can't catch a break.

Zi Shan Kow | January 13, 2022, 12:41 PM

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The most talked-about bird in Singapore has successfully been released on Monday.

No thanks to a few pesky crows, the Cinereous vulture soon got reminded that life in the wild is not an easy one.

Can't catch a break

After a 12-day rehabilitation period, the Cinereous vulture has finally regained enough strength to fly away after failing to do so on its first and second attempt.

Shortly after taking flight on Jan. 10, a murder of crows descended onto the vulture to chase it away.

At least nine crows could be seen flying alongside the vulture.

Video courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group.

A Zaobao photographer also captured the spectacle in the sky, highlighting the huge disparity in wingspan between the two bird species.

An adult Cinereous vulture has a wingspan of about 2.5m to 3m.

Image courtesy of Zaobao.

According to a joint statement to Mothership, the National Parks Board (NParks) and Mandai Wildlife Group updated that the vulture was last seen flying over the canopy of a forest a distance away from the release site.

NParks said that it will continue to monitor the area until the vulture is able to continue its journey to its wintering grounds.

Why do crows harass other animals?

Corvids -- the avian family that includes ravens and crows -- are notorious for causing mischief to humans and animals.

They are known to steal food, harass dogs, tailgate raptors, and raid nests for eggs.

Mobbing is perhaps the most noticeable of the bullying corvid behaviors.

A murder of crows will dive-bomb and screech at other animals, as crows are a prey species and this is how they respond to predators or would-be predators.

Such mobbing behaviour is not limited to crows, as chickens are also known to do likewise.

Recently, a murder of crows was also spotted harassing a couple of otters at Pandan Reservoir.

Vultures face off resident birds

Other prominent visitors who arrived in Singapore during this migratory bird season include five Himalayan griffon vultures.

The five of them were sighted with the rescued Cinereous vulture at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Dec. 30 2021.

When the group of vultures first made headlines, a Grey-headed fish eagle was also caught mid-flight going after one of the Himalayan griffon vultures in the sky.

Image courtesy of Trevor Teo.

While these vultures are probably one of the biggest birds in the world, our resident birds proved that size does not matter.

Be it crows or eagles, they are clearly undaunted by the disparity in size when it comes to defending their own territories.

Top images courtesy of Zaobao