How different in size and temperament are American crows than rooks? Our UK brethren are well versed in rook hawking with peregrines, sakers and hybrids. I agree with last post. Best to come at singles or very small groups at high altitude. Falcon would need a supersonic stoop and you would need to be close enough to assist her in case of mobbing.
All speculation on my part as I've never hunted crows with anything that didn't go "bang".
I remember reading in an book written in UK in '60s that suggested killing a crow and hiding a piece of pigeon breast under the crow's wing. The falcon will think that crows taste like pigeon and really "get after them". If you had a real sky buster, and you and the falcon trusted each other, and the slip was perfect...
Too cool to have a hard hitting longwing take out a crow! All the crows around here are urban. They know where they're safest. Maybe an eyas prairie female that didn't have any experience with crows. Or a passage bird that was not too set in its ways, or had a bad experience with crows.
I'll look through my books and try to find the rook or crow hawking passage. I'll post book and author if I find it.
It almost sounds like something Mavgavorado (sp) would come up with. I remember him writing in one book hawking magpies in Ireland dressed as a gypsy with a hand cart. He hid his peregrine under an umbrella!
Chapter VII on rook hawking and magpie hawking by J.G. Mavrogordato. With my apologies to the late great falconer for previously misspelling his name. Excellent treatise on hawking elusive open country prey.
I've been working with two falcons and two Harris Hawks, getting them going on crows for a while now. I'm looking foreward to reading what was mentioned above.
I've found that my Hawks are more likely to get mobbed so I only enter them on 2 or 3 at a time from the car, or cover. I've had pretty good results, but the element of surprise is key.
With the Falcons it is different. Often the only opportunity that presents itself is within a few hundred feet, but positioning myself up wind, out of sight, and preferably uphill from my quarry yields great results. Although I've had some great chases with a falcon who has rung up nicely I've found that the crows spot it as it is climbing and disperse before it has the advantage.
To get them interested in crows I've used a lure with crow wings, and fed them freshly killed crows. They still don't always seem overly enthused about crows though, despite being well rewarded for their efforts. I'll be trying the idea of tucking some quail under a dead crow's wing.
For dealing with crows when they try to mob one of my birds I carry a stock whip. A couple of good cracks sends them off and my birds don't even react.