All About the Birds Most Commonly Associated with Halloween: Crows, Ravens, Vultures & Owls
Feeling spooky? ‘Tis the season! With Halloween just around the corner, there’s no better time than the present to learn about these haunting fliers. Whether it’s their looks, their call, or their aggressive attitudes when flitting around bird feeders, there’s something truly spooky about these species. Read on to find out more about these ( somewhat) frightening feathered friends.
A symbol of bad luck, crows are closely associated with Hallows Eve. Their spiky, jet black feathers and territorial tendencies contribute to their menacing reputation. Crows were also thought to have been the main spreaders of the Bubonic plague during the Middle Ages. While they can be volatile, crows will generally only attack if they feel threatened. The way a murder of crows dives and strikes their enemies will send a message loud and clear: stay away! It’s best to avoid getting too close. Instead, simply let them be. Wild crows generally don’t need to be fed by humans, as they are resourceful enough on their own.
Smart and sneaky, a raven is a Halloween bird if there ever was one. While some people fear ravens because they symbolize death, others see them as a positive sign of rebirth. Spotting an “unkindness” of ravens (the name for a group of them) doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s true that they will vigorously defend their young, but these corvids can also be quite amicable to humans.
There’s no way we could talk about birds and Halloween without bringing up vultures. The image of a vulture sitting atop a tombstone is pretty common around October 31st, which makes sense given their connection to death. What most people don’t realize, however, is that vultures don’t do the killing. While they’re closely associated with the deceased, that is only because they feed on them. These scavengers help prevent the spread of disease by eating dead animals before they start rotting.
Birds of the night, owls are among the stealthiest of Halloween birds. Owls are known for being nocturnal hunters, which is an asset to their ability to silently capture prey. Their piercing round eyes and the way they swivel their heads 270 degrees in either direction makes these birds truly one of a kind. Much like the others on this list, owls don’t need much in the way of food from humans. They are pretty self-sufficient on their own. Should you come across one, feel free to observe the bird but do so at a safe distance.
It’s All Fun & Feathers Until…
If you’re looking for a mischief-free Halloween this year, it’s probably a good idea to steer clear of these spooky birds. Instead of trying to lure them to your yard, we suggest doing the opposite. Put shiny objects like CDs, balloons, and reflective tape around your bird feeders to ward off crows. Consider installing outdoor lights to deter owls. Use caged bird feeders for wild bird food to prevent bigger birds from getting to it. These birds shouldn’t be much of an issue as long as you don’t actively seek them out.
As always, stay safe and continue to feed the sweet and kind wild songbirds in your neighborhood with clean bird seed from Valley Farms ®!