Here is the ultimate guide on how to attract crows to your backyard the right way.
Crows are fascinating birds that are all black, and they have a tendency to gather in large groups. There’s nothing better than seeing a huge group of them perched on top of each other, talking to one another. It’s like they’re having this big crow party!
Crows are intelligent and interesting birds with quirky habits that make them unique birds to attract. Their loud call is hard to miss, but they don’t lack character and intelligence.
For many, crows are a nuisance. Yet they offer benefits as pest control and urban cleanup assistance–which is why people have begun to attract them to their yards creatively. Attracting crows to your backyard can be difficult as they don’t normally visit birdfeeders. However, you can attract crows to your backyard with the right habitat, food, and patience.
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1. Provide Roosting Spots
There are many ways to attract crows to your backyard, but one sure way is to provide a roosting place for them to socialize with other crows.
Crows are social birds and need plenty of places to stop and observe what’s going on around them, so attracting crows is a matter of providing roosting space for them where they can sit, rest and interact with their mates.
Crows usually prefer horizontal roosting poles and can often be seen atop utility poles or other tall structures. If you don’t have trees or other tall structures, what can you use to attract crows? To encourage crows to roost in the backyard, use perpendicular objects or high plants and trees.
You can create an area of your yard they will find intriguing by adding features such as a tree, posts, or a pole with a crossbar at the top.
Not only will this provide crows with a nice spot to socialize with other crows, but you will have a better view of them.
Crows are big birds with excitable temperaments, so make sure all perches that they’re on are sturdy to handle their size and behavior. Something simple like a concrete birdbath can successfully attract crows when using it as a roosting space.
2. Install a birdbath to attract crows: Necessary for all birds
One way to attract crows to your backyard is by installing a birdbath. Birdbaths are important for attracting any species of bird, including crows.
Crows need water for bathing, drinking, eating, and cooling off in the summer heat. Crows will flock to your yard when temperatures are warmer to try and beat the heat. Crows usually return in winter as food sources become scarce.
To entice crows to your yard, offer a bath with high walls and space in between for them to perch on. As with other members of the Corvidae family, crows will also store excess food. Birdbaths are a common choice for storing food.
Like many other animals and birds, crows are known for dipping their food in water to moisten it and even take it back to the nest for other family members.
Crows really love wet dog food, and we’ve found that when it gets wet from rainstorms, they devour it before we can clean the bowl out.
3. Remove all noise from your backyard
Although crows are loud birds, crows are easily spooked by loud noises and tend not to visit these areas as frequently. Attract crows to your backyard with a noise-free ambiance and eye-catching roosting spots.
Simple noises like a loud gate or any whistles will scare them off and make them unlikely to return to your yard. Avoid adding any objects to your yard that add extra noise, such as wind chimes, flags flying in the wind, bells, or any pinwheels that can spook crows off.
4.Add Static and Moveable Crow Decoys
To attract crows to your backyard, add some decoy birds to your yard to trick them into staying. Crows are sociable, meaning they live in groups and roost in large numbers. If they notice a decoy bird in your yard, they will be more inclined to stay if they think there are crowds of crows to socialize with.
A crow may notice fake decoy crows and think it’s the perfect habitat for food and roosting opportunities. The goal is to have at least 4 to 6 decoys or more for them to feel comfortable enough to come in and investigate. Adding in at least 1 moving decoy will be even better.
Crows are intelligent birds; your static displays won’t easily fool them, so you need to keep them engaged with movement. You can make your yard enticing to flocks passing by when setting up crow decoys.
Attracting crows to your backyard requires an eye-catching display of both stationary and moveable decoys. Setting up your decoys in a friendly open spot can help mimic feeding and foraging crows, leading potential new visitors to feel welcome.
Crows like to follow each other and are known to flock together in large numbers, so when you spot one in your backyard, the chances that other crows will come is really high.
5. Attract them with crow calls
Attracting crows to your backyard with a crow call may be easier than you think. You can be successful in attracting crows with a crow call if done correctly. It is important to keep in mind that crows are attracted by mimicry.
They will come if they think there’s a potential food source nearby, and crow calls can be used to imitate feeding activity happening at another location, luring them over from miles away.
Like other bird species, crows use calls to communicate with each other as well as other birds. Whether it’s the familiar caw caw caw to attract other members of the flock to your yard or alerting of an impending threat, there are many different calls that crows use. You can use these to encourage crows to visit your garden or backyard.
When it comes to drawing crows into your backyard, most people are familiar with the attention call, the rally call, and the distress call.
Crows can be lured using a device that emits various recorded calls, an electronic caller (available online), or a more traditional reed caller. Crow Callers can produce loud crow noises, which in return causes crow to be curious and giving the curious birds a reason to come and investigate your yard.
Crows are responsive to calls, but the best time for calling them is when they are active: early in the morning and late in the evening.
6. Attract crows to your backyard by providing the right food.
Crows are not necessarily picky eaters; in fact, they will eat about anything you give them. However, it is important to provide the right kind of food to bribe them to your yard. This can take some trial and error to see what kinds of food crows in your area prefer. If you find a certain food is not getting eat or attracting crows, then try something different.
We have successfully left out dog food for crows in our backyard, and they love it so much they will even come to visit with the dogs outside. It tends to be their favorite food and an easy way to get them to come to visit our yard.
Start by hanging something in your backyard that will catch their eye as they fly overhead. This might pique their interest to take a closer look and provide a sweet treat they can enjoy.
Unsalted shelled peanuts are a great place to start when attracting crows with food. (One of a crow’s favorite foods is peanuts.) Once the crows are adjusted to your feeding routine and trust you, then you can try other foods.
Crows naturally enjoy various foods, so make sure to try different items such as fruits, nuts, eggs, popcorn, or cat/dog food. Please do not feed them high-phosphorous brands that contain lower quality and unnecessary filler.
Some other great options are chicken and duck eggs, chicken meat and fat, and birdseed. While crows enjoy eating junk food as much as we do, providing it for them is no better than feeding it to yourself. Keep your backyard’s offerings healthy and natural as what they would find in nature.
7. Create a feeding routine to attract crows
Simply displaying a food source is not enough; it will help crows find your property but won’t keep them coming back without a feeding routine. Instead, always provide food at the same time each day to establish a feeding routine.
Creating an environment where crows feel comfortable to continue to visit is not a difficult task. A great way to attract them is by developing consistent habits that they will grow accustomed to overtime. Put food out at the same times each day and be sure not to change anything else, so they learn when to expect you and food.
To attract crows to your backyard, you first have to show that the risk is worth it. Give them a regular source of food, and they will come back for more. This requires less work for them in fulfilling their needs.
Expect some squirrels and other birds to visit your food source at first. But give the crows time to notice the food source and they will find it soon enough and create a trusting relationship with you.
Surprisingly, crows are fairly skittish creatures. So if you want to get them accustomed to your backyard and constant presence at home, don’t rush things and stay away from the food until they are comfortable around you. Crows may seem standoffish after years of developing a friendship, but this is their nature.
8. Put Food Source In the Right Location
If you want to get crows to stop by your yard, there are a few things you need to do. One is to make sure there is food for them available and accessible in the right location. Placing a feeder in the right place can help you fill your backyard with crows.
It’s best to choose a spot in your yard visible from the sky to catch their eye when they fly over. Once your backyard becomes a dependable one-stop-shop for food and roosting, flocks of crows will gather in your yard to enjoy any food sources you leave out for them.
Use a large tray or an empty birdbath to put food. Make sure it is heavy enough for these sizeable birds. Find an object that is durable enough to withstand damage and won’t be easily harmed. Old, abandoned concrete birdbaths make the perfect location for a food source for crows.
9. Setup a compost bin
Crows are omnivorous scavengers and will often visit compost bins that produce a bounty of food scraps. From fruit and vegetable scraps to discarded food, composting offers a great natural feeding station for the crows you are trying to attract to your yard.
Start a compost bin in your backyard to dispose of kitchen scraps and other food waste that will break down into organic material. Crows are known to go through garbage and household waste for food. They are sure to visit compost bins to search for the right food source.
A compost bin offers them a constant source of healthy foods products and a great eco-friendly alternative to garbage bags.
To entice crows to stay out of your garbage, try adding a compost bin in your backyard. This gives them a different option to feed off of and provides a cleaner no messes leftover!
10. Keep Pets Inside
Attracting crows will be difficult if there are pets outside. However, it is still possible (we have many crows come to visit with both of our dogs in the backyard). But by keeping dogs and cats inside, especially during feeding times, is a great way to attract crows to your yard.
Crows view dogs and cats as predatory creatures and will cause crows to be hesitant when visiting.
It can be difficult to attract crows if you have pets, but you can take measures, such as fencing off a separate area or keeping an area clear for the crows. However, crows prefer large spaces as smaller spaces make them feel less comfortable.
If you cannot separate the areas, find a balance between active crows times and outdoor time for your other pets. So you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
11. Include Shiny Objects in Your Yard
Leaving shiny objects around your yard is popular among bird lovers. Many corvid enthusiasts still do it and believe crows are attracted to shiny objects and trinkets. Although, there is no hard evidence to support that such a theory actually works.
However, there is anecdotal evidence of crows and other corvids taking shiny objects from yards. Many experts will agree that crows are more likely to be attracted to objects of obvious value in their owner’s yard. Young corvids are very curious and love to investigate objects.
Once you have established trust with your birds, using shiny objects will create a stronger relationship. One way to attract crows to your backyard is using shiny or flashy things that will catch bright sunlight to grab their attention, especially the younger crows.
12.Remove Any Scary Objects
If your goal is to attract crows, the most effective method would be to stand in your backyard and observe what may spook them. Crows are intelligent creatures that will avoid an area they perceive as threatening or skittish. Crows prefer more stable food sources in habitats that won’t scare them away.
Crows are intelligent and hyper-aware of possible threats. If you want to attract crows, remove anything that might be a threat, like large objects or such statues. Crows will avoid anything that seems like a threat to them.
Such items might not seem scary to us humans, but they will feel threatened by any object that appears larger than them. This could be a barrel or bing or even some decorations you have out in your yard. Take note of what scares crows away or causes them to avoid your garden or backyard.
13. Keep Your Distance
Keep your distance, and don’t get too close. These birds are members of the corvid family and have been persecuted in large numbers in recent centuries, so it’s not surprising that they are less trusting of humans than other animals. Most of the human population view crows as pests and nuisances that they don’t want around.
Due to their cautious nature, crows will still be slightly aloof and standoffish even after years of feeding and friendship. This may be one of the reasons they have survived and thrived as a species for so long.
Even though they will take their time deciding if they trust you, crows are worth the effort. Remember, crows are wild animals and should always be appreciated from afar. If wanting to get up close and personal, binoculars is a great option.
14. Provide A Nesting Spot
Crows prefer creating nests in trees. They typically hide their nests near the trunk of a tree or on a horizontal branch, generally towards the top of a tree, on either the upper third to quarter of the tree.
They use pine needles, twigs, bark, and animal hair from their habitat to make nests. Providing these nesting materials makes it easier for crows to make a nest to lay their eggs. This is an easy way to attract crows to your habitat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
01. Will the presence of crows be a deterrent to other smaller birds?
Crows are omnivorous scavengers, but they may be keeping away other smaller birds- in particular songbirds. These sizeable birds can attack other small birds and even destroy their nests.
02. What is the best time of day to feed crows?
Anytime during the day, you can feed crows. However, it is best to feed them during the early morning and late evening. Always feed them at the same time every day. Be careful leaving food out overnight when feeding as it may attract other pests.
03. What Are the Benefits of Having Crows in Your Yard?
Crows are a reliable natural pest controller, consuming thousands of pesky insects and pests. They also help by eating roadkill, food scraps, and fruit/veggie waste.
04. Do Crows Attack Humans?
Crows are territorial birds but will usually not attack humans unless they feel as if their nests are threatened.
05. Will a crow be a good substitute for a friend?
Crows can be good friends from far away. Crows have even been known to bring gifts to humans with who they have a relationship. However, crows are illegal to own as a pet in the United States.
As we mentioned, there are many different ways to attract crows into your backyard. The right habitat, food, and patience are key to attracting crows to your backyard that you can enjoy for years to come.
Which one has had the most success for you? We’d love to hear about it! If you have another idea that works as well, please let us know in the comments below.