The House Crow and the rat
Angie Ng reports a most interesting encounter her husband had with a rat: "When I first noticed House Crows (Corvus splendens) in the Angsana tree (Pterocarpus indicus) outside my apartment window, they were sharpening their beaks on the branches and plucking the leaves. And I wondered why they were doing that! Then my husband related to me an incredible incident he witnessed some years ago in Redhill.
"He was about to cross the road to catch the train when he was stopped by a huge rat cutting across his path. Even before the rodent could reach the other side of the road, a House Crow suddenly appeared.
"It dive-landed on the rat’s back, pressing it down. When the startled rat turned its head to look up at what had pinned him down, the crow plunged its sharp bill right through into its eyes (and brain?). Deadly paralysing! Then it hopped aloft and as the rat rolled onto its back - or did the crow roll it over - the crow with legs apart, landed onto the rat’s belly. Again the sharp beak plunged in, and with a quick slicing motion, slit open the belly. Another plunge and its bloody beak pulled up and out some entrails!
"It flew off with the first beakful when passing traffic interrupted its meal but returned when the road was clear again.
"I wonder whether we could train our House Crows to clean up our streets and marketplaces of rats?"
R. Subaraj finds the account most interesting but added that crows are effective hunters when not scavenging.
Image of crow by Hung Bun Tang and of rat by YC.