A murder of crows -- 14 in total -- set upon two otters minding their own business in the western part of Singapore.
Three videos of the incident, featuring a cross-species altercation at Pandan Reservoir in the day, were put up on the Singapore Wildlife Sightings Facebook page on Jan. 7.
What videos showed
1. Otters chilling
The first video showed two otters rubbing their bodies in the sand on the ground and minding their own business.
Otters clean their fur often by rolling in the sand and grass to retain their water-repellent qualities.
2. Crows start showing up
A pair of crows then showed up.
And then threes a company, as another crow landed right next to the two otters.
This was followed by another fourth crow.
The otters continued rolling in the grass, even after the crows nibbed at one of their tails.
3. 14 crows showed up
Eventually, 14 crows showed up in total.
The crows continued to nibbed at both of the otters' tails.
By the end of the third video, the otters had moved off from their original position but the crows still persisted in harassing the otters.
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.
Why do crows nib at other animals' tails?
Crows typically nib at other animals' tails to annoy and distract them.
This is usually done during feeding time, where the crows display a form of parasitism by nibbing the tail of a predator to take its focus away from the food momentarily.
The crows will then have a bite of the predator's food.
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