Crows Return Every Year To Groom Horse And Use Hair For Their Nest

Image shows two crows grooming a horse by collecting loose fur during shedding season to line their nest.

In a beautiful display of a symbiotic relationship, two crows return to groom a horse for the second year in a row. This activity between these critters seems normal and natural because it is. Crows are incredibly intelligent, so remembering where to obtain the bestest nesting material is not impressive; it is expected.

Image shows crows as they "groom" a horse, collecting fur shed during spring molting to line their nests.
Image from TikTok.

Two videos, posted a year apart by Alexis Savannah, show that the crows know a good thing when they find it. You would be incorrect if you think the crows might be bothering the horse. Shedding the winter coat comes naturally, so the loose hair is just hanging on, held on by the remaining fur. The crows grab the loose hairs, performing what would happen during a regular curry session with a brush. The first video, from 2023, shows how these industrious crows fill their beaks with tufts of horse hair.

Horse owners brush or curry their horses to remove the excess clumps of hair that fall out during molting. Crows help when they groom the horse by lining their nests with luxurious fur upholstery. A symbiotic relationship exists between the crows and the horse. The horse does not attempt to dislodge the birds; removing the shed fur probably feels good. The fur harvest, which seems to have become an annual event, is helpful to both the horse and the birds.

In the second video, posted in 2024, Alexis explains that these are the same two crows who came to groom the horse last year. They obviously liked the comfort provided. Who wouldn’t love custom fur upholstery to raise young crows? The horse wasn’t using the fur, and it would have ended up on the ground or in a trash bin.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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