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How To Attract Crows? 2 Simple Ways To Attract Them

How to attract crows?

Crows are one of the most resourceful and intelligent birds in the world. Crows are a part of the Corvus genus and know how to both make and use primitive tools from rocks and twigs. In addition, they have complex ways of communicating with each other and can remember where they’ve previously stored food for long periods of time.

But how to attract crows? And would it even be worth it?

There are a variety of reasons to attract crows to your yard, whether it be for urban cleanup, pest control, or simply that you want to admire them.


Why Attract Crows?

For centuries, crows have been seen as bad omens and symbols of death. However, you’ll want to attract these birds to your yard, not only for the entertainment they’ll provide you but also because they’re great at protecting your plants from any pesky insects.

American Crow

© Alan D. Wilson

It’s believed by many that crows will damage any crops or plants you have, but this is not the case! These birds eat the pests and bugs that lie under the surface. The insects do way more damage than crows ever could. Attracting them to your yard will help control the pests and keep your plants happy and healthy.


How to Attract Crows?


Food is one of the best ways to attract these birds to your yard. Crows are omnivores, so they’ll consume a wide variety of foods. However, if you want them to visit your yard and stick around, it’s crucial that you put the right foods out first to get them to stay. The best foods to put out are whole peanuts (with the shell), eggs, suet, and cracked corn.

Related: How to befriend crows?


Safe habitat

Like all birds, crows need a reliable and safe place to roost. Providing them with a safe habitat to rest, socialize, and check out what’s happening is a great way to attract these birds.

They prefer horizontal nesting sites and often perch on wires, fences, utility poles, trees, and tall building edges. If you don’t have these options in your yard, you can make your own roosting area by installing a pole with a crossbar at the top. Make sure that it’s strong and sturdy enough to support an entire family.

American Crow on a water fountain

© Tom Grey

Next, adding a birdbath to your yard is a good idea. These are essential for all birds, not just crows. Water is essential for crows; they need it for feather maintenance, eating, drinking, and bathing. Since crows are birds that are darker in color, they need access to water to cool themselves down.

Related: How rare are albino crows?

During the summer months, crows will visit your yard to beat the heat, and during the winter months, crows will visit your yard because other water sources are limited.

Lastly, be sure to place food near areas that provide cover. This makes crows feel safer and gives them a better chance of escaping predators.


Dangers of Inviting Crows to Your Garden

There are some negatives to attracting crows to your yard. Let’s go over the following:


Crows can make a mess

Crows are known to carry trash with them; this means if you attract them to your yard, they may bring waste with them. Additionally, because they’re brilliant birds, they know how to break into bins. This could be trash bins or even seeds bins, and they’ll spread it around and make a mess.

Another consequence of attracting these birds to your yard is they’ll leave droppings everywhere.


Crows live in large flocks

Crows are birds that have both impressive and unique social structures. Because of this, crows tend to travel in large groups. What’s remarkable is some groups will only have a few crows, while others can have hundreds to thousands of birds.

Group of Crows

Image Credits: dotuvol3 (Flickr)

In the winter months, crows form huge groups so they can roost. It’s not uncommon for them to take over entire trees!

There’s a clear hierarchy with crows; the dominant birds are always towards the top of the trees, and the lower-ranked crows are always closer to the tree’s base. This roosting behavior starts in the fall and will continue all the way until the warm weather returns in the spring.

This means that the presence of crows will almost always be magnified. What we mean by this is crows are naturally attracted to areas that have other crows.

So if you’re attracting a few crows to your yard, the likelihood of a snowball effect that causes more and more birds to appear is likely.


Crows can be noisy

Anyone who has encountered these birds knows that they’re very noisy. They have a very distinct loud, guttural caw.

Since they’re social animals, these birds communicate often with their vocals. How noisy they get depends on the season. In the winter, these birds gather in even bigger groups for safety and warmth. This noise can become annoying if your yard happens to be the site of the roost or even if they’re just passing through.


Crows can cause native species to leave the area

The combination of their intelligence and the large groups they travel in causes them to display territorial behavior. It’s not uncommon for crows to claim entire habitats as their own.

These birds will chase animals they feel threatened by off. The animals that usually leave the area are mammals like squirrels and smaller birds.

Bird Nest

Crows are known to attack the nests of other birds. Photograph © Sarah Stewart

Additionally, crows have been known to invade nests and consume the eggs of other birds. This can hurt smaller native songbird populations. Amphibians and reptiles are also impacted by crows.

Crows outcompete and predate these animals, which play critical environmental roles like pest control.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I attract crows to my house?

You can attract crows to your yard by offering them food, water, and a safe habitat.

What attracts crows the most?

Food is what attracts crows the most. To attract them to your yard, you’ll first want to place very noticeable food. For example, you could put out whole peanuts (with the shell). Once crows know they can find food in your yard, you can offer a broader range of foods. Don’t worry about over-feeding these birds; they can really eat a lot. Feel free to offer more if they eat it all.

What is crow’s favorite food?

Crows are omnivores and will consume a wide variety of foods. Some of their favorite foods are nuts like almonds, walnuts, and peanuts, eggs, which can be scrambled, boiled, or raw; it doesn’t matter to them; leftover meat scraps like fish and chicken; and dry pet food.

What should you not feed crows?

You shouldn’t feed crows dried or uncooked beans, seeds that contain traces of cyanide, mushrooms, peppers, alcohol, and salted nuts. Additionally, you shouldn’t feed them any spoiled meat, either. While crows can eat from dumpsters and consume roadkill, it can be dangerous to feed them spoiled meat. However, they love plenty of other foods, so just stick to feeding them those!

Do crows leave gifts?

Yes, crows do leave gifts! It’s not uncommon for them to leave things like rocks, bones, lost earrings, and keys for those who feed them.

About the Author

Brianna Goulet

Brianna loves to get outdoors for everything creative and fun. She has a passion for birds and is a hobbyist wildlife photographer based in Central Florida. Her goal is to share everything you need to know about birds so you can get out there, explore, and identify confidently!

Let others know your thoughts or ask an expert

Mardy Shaber

Saturday 23rd of September 2023

You've written that crows should not be fed saltless nuts. Is that a typo? I thought they should be fed saltless peanuts. A very interesting & informative article. Thank you. I really enjoyed it. I've been considering trying to attract crows to my 3rd story apartment balcony. Now, whatever I decide, it will be an informed decision.


Saturday 11th of November 2023

@Mardy Shaber, it says they should not be fed salted peanuts.

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