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Is This Crow Really Helping A Hedgehog Cross The Road?

Image shows a hooded crow poking a hedgehog with its beak to encourage the tiny animal to finish crossing a road.

Symbiotic relationships happen all the time in nature. For example, the clownfish survives by hiding out among sea anemones with poisonous tendrils. The poison doesn’t affect the clownfish, but the stinging tendrils keep predators away. In return, the clownfish helps remove parasites and keep the anemone clean. But could a symbiotic interaction occur between a crow and hedgehog?

A viral video (shared below) shows a small hedgehog crossing a road. A hooded crow flies down and decides to nudge the little fellow, and succeeds in moving the hedgehog to the far curb.

Many viewers watching the video see the footage and think the crow is helping the hedgehog cross the street and avoid being hit by a car.

A hedgehog from a stock photo. The image is similar to the hedgehog assisted by the hooded crow in our video selection.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

While we would love to say that’s the case, and we won’t rule it out entirely — stranger things have happened in life! There are quite a few things that could be happening in this interaction.

Hedgehogs can harbor parasites such as ticks. Since these invertebrates are a food source for crows, it is quite possible that the crow is merely searching for or helping himself to a free meal.

Crows are also notoriously curious and mischievous creatures. They’ve been filmed teasing other animals, seemingly just for the fun of it! For example, you can find numerous videos of crows pulling the tails of dogs or cats, as shown below:

These types of interactions often occur without any easily recognizable “reason,” such as a nest nearby or a potential for food. The way we see it, the most likely answer is that this curious crow was simply checking out the hedgehog and being a bit mischievous in the interaction with the prickly creature.

No matter how you look at it, the video, recorded in Latvia, offers a pretty silly interaction!

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

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