If you see or hear crows making a lot of ruckus, a predator may be around.
After discovering a bird of prey or a cat, one or two crows may dive-bomb the potential threat while emitting alarm calls.
Other crows then typically join in the action. This behavior, called mobbing, is used for defense and to protect young.
Mobbing rarely injures the animal on the receiving end, but it drives them away to a safer distance and ruins the element of surprise that predators require for successful ambush.
Although mobbing is displayed most often in crows, this behavior also occurs regularly in gulls and terns.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, environmental outreach coordinator with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.