How To Attract Crows To Your Yard And Why You Want To

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Crows have long been unfairly painted as lawn foes and bad omens when that is rarely the truth. While crows have been known to snack on the occasional fruit or vegetable, that's not where the story ends. Crows hang around lawns and gardens not to damage nearby plants, but to eat the bugs and pests lying under the surface, which Wild Bird World points out are often more damaging than crows could ever be.

While crows have been rumored to be an omen of bad luck and misfortune, that again isn't entirely the case. According to Crystal Clear Intuition, crows are actually a harbinger of change, transformation, and new beginnings. Crow sightings are associated with major life shifts, which can be uncomfortable or jarring at first but are ultimately omens of luck.

Crows are also remarkably intelligent animals and are believed to be in their Stone Age. This means they can craft tools without human or other guidance and pass down these skills culturally and generationally (via The Daily). They're also very social creatures, both with humans and other crows. They organize funerals and engage in grieving rituals for dead crows and are known to hold grudges against other animals and humans that have upset them, ScienceAlert says. They also spread that grudge to other crows. On the flip side, they can become incredibly friendly with humans if given the opportunity, bringing them small gifts in exchange for food. These are just some of the reasons to attract crows to your yard.

1. Set up decoy crows

One of the first ways you can attract crows to your yard is by exploiting their social nature and instinct to gather in crowds. Wild Bird World assures that this won't scare them away, but rather mimic a real crow that will make them want to land nearby to check it out. If you've provided them with other incentives to stay, this is a great way to get them to stop by.

The more realistic the better in terms of crow decoys. While even a simple plastic Halloween decoration (like this one from Amazon for $16) will work, it's best to find one with more detail. Some fake crows will have decoy feathers and strings to position them in more natural poses, like this $30 fake crow from Amazon. This method will work even better with multiple crows. Pose them like they've gathered to eat or roost for the full effect on your neighborhood crows.

2. Make your yard crow-friendly

As stated earlier, crows are incredibly smart birds. As such, they know to avoid any areas that seem potentially threatening or dangerous. To attract crows to your yard, then, you have to make it seem as hospitable and sage as possible.

Bird Eden says that crows are particularly wary of both large and loud objects. While you may think everything is fine, even items like barrels and ladders pose a threat to crows. And while you may enjoy the peaceful sounds of your backyard windchimes, your local crows certainly won't. Lastly, if you have any indoor pets like cats or dogs, make sure the crows aren't aware of them. This means keeping them completely out of your designated crow space. While crows are certainly not going to linger in areas they see other large animals, they may be able to smell them, so be extra cautious.

3. Provide roosting areas

Crows, like all birds, need a safe and reliable place to roost, or rest. Not only do crows need to sleep, but since they're so social, they also like to gather, socialize, and check out what's going on, according to World Birds. Making your yard crow friendly, as outlined above, is obviously one of the biggest precursors to this method.

Crows particularly enjoy horizontal roosting sites. They prefer utility poles and wires, tall building edges, trees, and fences. If you don't have anything like this in your yard, you can make your own DIY roosting area by simply installing a pole in your yard with a crossbar at the top. Make sure that your designated roosting site is sturdy and strong enough to support an entire family of crows. Similarly, make sure there's enough space for multiple crows, as they won't gather unless they can do so in groups.

4. Scatter shiny objects

While many birds are attracted to or at least intrigued by shiny objects, crows are especially drawn to them. Wild Bird World points out that this phenomenon is most commonly associated with magpies, but that the black-feathered crow is also a prolific collector of shiny objects. If you find your trash can has been overturned by a crow, odds are they were digging for shiny treasures.

This method is as simple as you would assume. Simply gather shiny objects and scatter them around your yard. Make sure it isn't anything you want back or that's too expensive. Simply scattering a couple of old CDs or DVDs from a thrift store around your yard will work fine, as will shiny coins, nails, etc.

Keep in mind that this will probably scare other smaller prey birds away, so if you're trying to attract other species, maybe consider skipping this step. Also, make sure you don't let pets or kids run across nails or broken pieces of CDs.

5. Provide a bird bath

If you're trying to attract any kind of bird to your yard, you should absolutely add a birdbath. Not only will they make a nice addition to the landscaping of your yard, but they will attract all birds, especially crows, to come in for a dip. As The Rock Pile points out, birds use birdbaths both to get a clean and fresh drink of water, as well as for preening, which helps keep them clean, cool, and disease-free.

That being said, make sure you get the right kind of birdbath, Wild Bird World warns. Since crows are generally much bigger than standard garden birds, you'll need a much wider and deeper birdbath. If you can't find one to your liking, you can simply fill a bucket with water. Regardless of which bath option you pursue, just make sure to change the water daily to keep it clean and fresh. If you can, try putting the bath in a shady but visible and accessible area.

6. Feed regularly

Crows are very easily bribed into friendship with food, as long as it's done right. Bird Eden says the trick to getting crows to come dine in your yard is to have a routine and to be very patient. Both of these factors will help you gain your local crows' trust, making them receptive to your offering. Try feeding once early in the morning and again later in the evening.

As for what to feed them, there are plenty of options. They aren't particularly picky, but knowing their favorites will certainly help you in your endeavor. Crows really like whole eggs, so put out a couple small eggs (any kind) for them. Another common favorite is unsalted peanuts — specifically unshelled unsalted peanuts.

If you've just trimmed a cut of steak or broken down a chicken, offer the leftover carcass parts and fat to your crows. They'll also gratefully accept cat or dog food (especially when soaked in water), corn and sunflower seeds, bread soaked in water, insects and worms, leftover fruits and veggies, and bird seeds. Be warned, though, that crows can become quite picky. If you start out feeding them meat and then only give them vegetable scraps and bread, they'll quickly lose interest.

7. Crow calls

A popular method used by hunters to attract birds, crows included, is to mimic their calls in a variety of ways. Since they are such social birds, they will very quickly respond to the sound and come investigating, World Birds explains. Before trying this method, make sure you have the necessary measures in place for your local crows, as they may not want to return if your yard is inhospitable.

There are a few ways to mimic crow calls. One common method is using a crow caller, which is similar to a duck whistle. Most callers are made with a reed, like this one from Amazon for $12. There are various online resources, too, both free and paid. There are also apps you can download or purchase with pre-loaded bird calls. Similarly, there are plenty of videos on the internet with crow calls, like this one on YouTube.