How To Attract Crows To Your Yard (9 Ways To Do It!)
Whether you want to attract crows to your yard because you like birds or to have them help get rid of some of the pests in your yard, it is not difficult to do. Even if you are trying to attract crows to hunt, the tips in this article will help you gather a group in no time.
Put out food such as berries, cracked corn, dog food, black oil sunflower seeds, and nuts to attract crows. Install a pound or leave a water dispenser out that will encourage the crows to return to your yard. Place crow decoys around your property or invite them over with a lure or crow call.
Some people may not like crows because they can be noisy, and they are pretty big. But these clever birds are actually good to have around. They will chase away the squirrels and other rodents, entertain you with their antics, and they eat insects too. However, they eat a lot of other stuff too, so watch out for your garden.
1. Feed Them
The first thing to do is to provide them with some of the foods that they like. Although their favorites are peanuts, corn, and sunflower seeds, any bird feed will attract them. So will bread, chips, and leftovers from last night’s dinner. They are not very picky.
But you will need to make sure they know where to find the food. Put it in a bird feeder big enough for them to get to. Make sure it is near a tree or some other roosting area. Keep it in the same spot every day so they know where to come and you will have visitors every day all year long.
Give Them What They Want
Of course, the main thing they want is food. And they will eat all sorts of things. They are not picky. In the wild, they typically eat nuts, fruit, insects, and even lizards or frogs. In fact, crows will pretty much eat anything they can catch that fits in their mouth. Some of the common favorites include:
- Black oil sunflower seeds
- Other seeds like pumpkin, flax, hemp, and chia
- Cracked or dry corn
- Grains like wheat, barley, rice, oats, and millet
- Any kind of fruit such as grapes, cherries, apples, oranges, and bananas
- Vegetables like peas, beans, and peppers
- Berries from just about any kind of tree or bush
- Any kind of nuts like peanuts, walnuts, and pecans
- Suet bricks of any kind but they favor the peanut ones
- Insects such as worms, grubs, and beetles
- Cat or dog kibble
- Scraps of meat (like last night’s leftovers)
Feed Them Regularly
You have to put the food out at a certain time each day. They like having a routine and will be faithful visitors if you provide the food every day in the same spot at the same time. Crows are smart too.
Missing a day or two can make them wary and they may not come back if you stop feeding them for more than a few days. That is important to note in case you decide you want to get rid of them sometime in the future.
Feed Them in the Right Spot
Even though they are not picky eaters, they are a bit picky about where they eat. They like open areas on the ground with plenty of space. It helps if the feeding area is visible from the sky so one of them can spot it when flying by. They will check it out and then call their friends over to eat.
2. Provide Them with Water Too
All animals need water, including the birds. Especially in the summer. A birdbath of any kind is a great way to get crows to come for a visit. They like to dip their food in the water as well as drinking from it. They are fun to watch too. They will bathe in it and then wash their food in it.
Because crows are fairly large, you should get a pretty big birdbath. Or maybe consider a water feature like a pond where all the local critters can enjoy a bath or drink. But the crows may eat fish if you have any in your pond so that may not be a good idea.
3. Invite Some Other Crows
Since crows are social animals, they love being around other crows. In fact, if you see one crow, you will likely see many more nearby. They travel in large numbers (called murders) and will follow each other to wherever there is food or water.
Get a few crow decoys and put them around in the feeding area and by the birdbath. Make sure you get one that moves so it catches their attention. Crows are smart so they are not likely to fall for a few fake-looking birds sitting there not moving or making noise.
4. Call Them for Dinner
Speaking of making noise, add some crow calls to the decoys and the crows will really want to come see what is going on. They have certain calls they use to tell other crows around what is going on. It may be a friendly caw caw to invite their buddies over to eat or an alarm or call for help.
Their crow family will not ignore a call for help. They also have a rally call and attention call. You can find recordings of these and others online and download them to play outside. Or you can get a reed caller that crow hunters use to attract them. Either way, they find it hard to resist a call.
5. Make Sure You Have Enough Room to Roost
Crows like to have plenty of room to roost. They especially like horizontal roosting posts and poles. But they will also roost on trees or roofs, so they are pretty happy no matter what you have as long as there is a tree or roof. But you can add to the roosting spots by adding a few roosting poles to your yard.
6. Get Rid of Noisy Things in Your Yard
Because they are very skittish, you want to make sure you don’t have anything in your yard that will scare them away. Like scarecrows. They also do not like wind chimes, squeaky fences, shepherd’s hooks, or big windmills.
While you are at it, check around to be sure there is nothing big and menacing or moving that could scare them away. Just walk out there and stand in the yard and see if anything grabs your attention. If anything does, it will likely stare the crows away.
7. Keep Your Pets Indoors
Another thing that will scare the crows away is your pets. Dogs running around barking at them is not a good way to invite them over for dinner. And cats may even make a meal of them. That does not mean that you should never let your pets out again. Just try to keep them away from the bird feeding area.
8. They Love Shiny Things
Strangely, crows do not like reflective items that move but they love shiny things. Leave a few coins or old screws around and see if they take off with them. This is not always true with all birds, however, as some crows are scared of the shiny items being near the food. It just depends on the crows you have.
9. Do Not Try to Get Too Close to Them
As hard as it is to resist, do not try and talk to the crows or make friends with them. They do not trust people. Experts say it is because of how humans have treated them in the past. Many people see them as pests and will scare them away or even shoot them if they get in their yard. It just makes sense why they would not want to be our friend then.
Why Do Crows Gather in the Evening?
It seems that murders of crows will gather for a meeting before heading to their roost. Maybe they are talking about their day, discussing tomorrow’s agenda, or warning each other of certain dangers that they may have seen that day.They gather together to scare off predators as well. Animals and other predators are much less likely to go after a large group. So, when they get together, the first crows to get there will take the highest spots and the latecomers will end up on the lower branches.
What Are the Benefits of Having Crows in Your Yard?
Even though they can be noisy and sometimes even annoying, they also do some good things for you. Crows are a natural pest control system. Like bats only better. They will eat thousands of mosquitos, beetles, and other annoying bugs.They even eat dead things like vultures do so if there is any roadkill around you don’t have to put up with the smell. They will take care of that before nightfall.
Do Crows Attack Humans?
Even though crows are territorial, they do not usually attack humans. But if you attempt to mess with their nesting area, you may be in for a shock. They will fly at you and beat their wings at you to get you to go away. If this happens, be smart and move away. They have a lot of friends to back them up.
I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.
More by Patricia Oelze