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Q&A

Why would crows be dropping something into a pond?

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This weekend I was sitting next to a pond and multiple times there was a crow who had something white in his mouth flying down from a tree to within several feet of the pond's surface, drop the white thing towards the middle of the pond and then fly off.

What could the crow have been doing?

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2 answers

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Birds with young regularly clean their nest by removing droppings and usually deposit the results some distance away, presumably to avoid making the nest site too obvious to predators. Nestlings of some birds, including crows, deposit their excrement inside faecal sacs which facilitate this cleaning. If you were in the northern hemisphere then it's very likely the crow did have young and was cleaning up.

I don't know why the crow chose a pond to drop them in, but it would be a good way to hide the detritus - crows are noted for their intelligence but not, as far as I know, for their concern over eutrophication.

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In addition to the answer by @Pastychomper‭ which seems to be the most likely reason in this specific case, crows often seem to leave dry food into puddles/small ponds in order to make it easier to chew and swallow later on. Things like small dead animals (birds, frogs, mice etc), bread or meat stolen from humans etc.

I've had a crow doing this for many years in a birdbath, particularly in spring when they are feeding their chicks. It leaves the food in the birdbath then comes to pick up a couple of hours later, when it's all soggy.

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