In 2010, I started befriending the crows in my neighborhood. Every year, there's at least one new baby crow to introduce myself to.
The Family of Crows in My Neighborhood
In 2010, I was sitting on the steps in front of my house watching my kids play on the sidewalk when I looked up and saw a crow sitting on the telephone wire. While my kids chattered and squawked, fighting over who got the green chalk, that crow sat with her head cocked to one side, observing us with one friendly black eye.
Although I can't be certain, it sure seemed like she was just as amused as I was.
I'm not an ornithologist or even a birdwatcher, but crows intrigue me. Since that day, I have become friends with the neighborhood crows, and I've learned a thing or three along the way.
The Way to a Crow's Heart
The best way to introduce yourself to a crow is by feeding it. I'm sure there are other ways to go about it, but the easiest, fastest way to a crow's heart is food.
Some may argue that a crow is a wild animal and that by feeding it, you encourage an unnatural dependence. And when applied to most wildlife, this is an excellent philosophy. But crows and humans have been living side-by-side for centuries now, and researchers like Marzluff and Angell (co-authors of In the Company of Crows and Ravens) point to many instances of cultural co-evolution between us. The relationship between humans and crows has been arguably symbiotic for quite some time.
Certainly, after all this time together, humans' and crows' lives and histories have become closely intertwined. I moved to this neighborhood in a small city 20 years ago. I'm relatively new here, but since crows pass their territories on to their offspring, the crows in my neighborhood may have descended from birds who lived here more than 100 years ago. In other words, crows have lived here for as long as humans have. They've watched people come and go for years, people who may have watched them right back.
So anyway, we're neighbors, and feeding is the neighborly thing to do.
How to Make Friends With a Crow: Step-by-Step
- Find food that the crows seem to like. This may require some trial and error, as crows can be surprisingly finicky—or at least my urban ones are. You'll know a crow likes what you feed it judging by how quickly it swoops down to grab it. If that pile of leftovers you leave for them sits all day, that means they just aren't interested, so try something else—just make sure it's healthy. I've heard that they like fast food but feeding them junky stuff is probably not a kind thing to do. Below, you'll find a list of all the things my neighborhood crows love to eat.
- Stock that food. Buy enough so you don't run out (and break the trust you're trying to establish). One of the things that work for me is unsalted peanuts, so I buy huge bags from Costco. If you have any menu suggestions, please share them in the comments section below!
- Establish a regular feeding schedule, so they know when to expect you and vice versa. If you don't establish a rhythm for interaction, you might not cross paths very often, and the relationship may never fully gel.
- Don't overdo it. Don't feed them so much or so often that they become dependent—just a handful of something to show you care.
- Be dependable, steadfast, and observant. Don't just throw the food out there and walk away. Stay at a respectful distance to watch them eat. You may see them eat it on the spot or they might choose carefully and fly off to cache it for later. Since crows have territories, take some time to try to get to know how big your local crow family is.
- Get to know the locals. A mated pair usually builds a nest and lays an egg or two every year. Some of the previous years' hatchlings hang around for several years before they move away to mate and make a new territory. So a group of three or more is what a "normal" family looks like, and I've also heard stories of multiple generations sharing one turf. (Please describe your neighborhood crow family in the comments!)
- Don't try to get too close. These are wild animals, after all. Your goal shouldn't be to tame them or take them as pets, which is illegal in most states anyway, not to mention ethically dubious. Even after years of friendship, a crow will be skittish and standoffish (but admiring from afar), and it's better this way.
My crows feel most comfortable swooping down to grab the peanuts I throw if I'm sitting in my car, so I keep a bagful in the front seat for this purpose.
What Do Crows Like to Eat?
Crows are omnivorous scavengers so they're quite open-minded about what they eat. They'll do fruit, vegetables, insects, berries, kibble, popcorn, kitchen scraps, roadkill, and—in a pinch—even vomit. I've heard that they show a preference for food wrapped in a fast-food wrapper (yes, they even recognize the brand). Their bad reputation as harbingers of death probably has something to do with the fact that they'll swoop down to help clean up a battleground. They are scavengers, after all. They'll pillage eggs from other birds and they'll rummage through your garbage can if you let them.
What can I feed the crows?
The crows in my neighborhood are slightly more choosy, perhaps because they have access to many sources of food and can afford to be picky. I imagine that the country crows' diets differ vastly from their city-dwelling cousins'. I've tried getting my crow friends to help me out in the garden by eating the snails, but they're not interested. I've tried kitchen scraps with mixed results—they pick out what they want and leave the mess for me to clean up—so mostly, I give them boiled eggs (which they gobble up, shell and all). I keep a bag of roasted, unsalted peanuts in my car so I can toss them a handful whenever we meet.
Sometimes, the crows will peck open and gulp down the food right there in the street. Other times—especially with the peanuts—they'll stuff their gullets and fly off to cache their horde so they can enjoy it later. I've seen them cram up to three peanuts in there! The peanuts' shells make them very portable and cacheable.
Crows' Favorite Foods
- unsalted peanuts, in the shell
- boiled eggs, shell and all
- table scraps
- cat or dog food, wet or dry
I've heard they love fast food but don't recommend it. For more food options, Aves Noir has a nice list of things crows do and don't like.
Why Don't the Crows Trust Me?
One day a man was walking by while I was feeding the crows. He got very excited and wanted to try, so I gave him a handful of peanuts. He walked under the telephone wire where they were sitting and held up his hand.
The crows just eyeballed him like he was crazy. "They're not going to come to you," I told him. "You have to throw the peanuts into the street."
So he threw the peanuts down at his feet and looked up at the crows, who didn't budge. "What's the matter with them? Why won't they eat?" I explained that crows aren't like that, that even though I'd been feeding them for years they never came closer than a few feet away, at which point he lost interest and huffed off.
Crows can be skittish and aloof. They are never going to come running like a dog will for a lick and a pet, and their standoffish attitude is probably a major reason why they have survived and thrived as a species for so long. They're wild animals, after all, and in the US, it is illegal to keep native songbirds—crows included—as pets.
If you want a pet, you should get one . . . but if you're interested in crows, you'll have to learn to appreciate their charms from afar.
Besides, truth be told, most humans view crows as ominous, murderous evils—or, at best, rats with wings. For centuries, crows have played the bad guys in the stories humans tell themselves. I'm sure those crows have noticed the eye daggers most people shoot at them, how cars veer to the shoulder to intentionally run them over.
Why wouldn't that distrust be mutual?
So crows will take their own sweet time deciding if they trust you or not . . . but once they know who you are, they'll never forget. At first, they may give you the cold shoulder and ignore your offerings, but don't take it personally. Remember that paranoia is all about survival, but patience and vigilance will eventually pay off. If you pass the test, they will decide to trust.
Crows Recognize Faces
How Can I Communicate With Crows?
There are stories of crows who have learned certain words the way a parrot can, but those incidences are rare. Most of us will settle for a subtler kind of bird/human exchange and will learn to interpret the crow's own natural forms of communication.
- When the crow on lookout sees the food you've offered, she'll summon her family members with a caw, caw, caw (any number of caws, repeated).
- To me, the "come eat!" call sounds a lot like the scolding call they make when they see a stranger or a dog or some other possible threat.
- Then there's that rattling they do most often during mating season. If you're lucky and they like you, they might mutter at you from above.
- After awhile, you may begin to recognize the difference between the vocalizations of an adult and a baby. (The babies sound whinier and chattier than their parents . . . go figure!)
The crows will return the favor of your attention by learning to interpret your signs, as well. They will memorize your schedule and the sound of your car keys. Sometimes, when I'm standing like a crazy person in the street with a hard boiled egg in my hand and no crows in sight, I've taken to whistling to let them know I'm there. My whistle (a "yoo hoo" sound issued between my teeth) is like a dinner bell letting the crows know it's time to eat.
One summer, I went away on vacation for a couple weeks and within a few days of my return, I came out of my house to find a huge group of crows waiting for me, making a cacophony of caws. It was a quite a spectacle and I don't know what they were trying to communicate to me, but I know it was something (see video below).
Crows Talk (But I Don't Know What It Means)
Where Did All the Crows Go?
Although the crows you see in your neighborhood "own" that territory and are very territorial, that doesn't mean they never leave.
For most of the year, before the sun goes down, crows fly to a communal roost. They may fly for miles to get there, stopping along the way to chat with other crows until they reach the roost where they'll all sleep together, perhaps as many as a thousand in one place. I've never seen a roost myself— one report says that up to 40,000 crows may roost in one spot, but I found another that claims that a roost may consist of a few hundred to two million crows!
Do crows migrate?
American crows are considered "partially migratory," which means some do, some don't.
- In temperate, southern parts of their range, they're more residential than migratory.
- In colder northern parts, they mostly migrate during the coldest months.
- In mixed zones, crows may be partially migratory. The unmated crows will visit a breeding territory, while mated pairs may stay home.
- Rural crows tend to be more migratory than urban ones, probably because of fluctuating food sources.
Do crows build nests?
The only time they build individual nests in their territory is during spring, when mated crows become quite secretive to protect their young from predation. You may spy them from afar, carrying nest-building materials in their beaks. During this time, after the eggs are laid and when the fledglings are newly hatched, crows become even more skittish and standoffish than usual.
So if the crows suddenly disappear, don't worry—check your watch and calendar and you may understand why.
Can I Keep a Crow As a Pet?
I recommend befriending the crows in your neighborhood, but not trying to take them as pets. (For definitions' sake, let's say a friend is free to come and go as they please while a pet is locked in or otherwise prevented from leaving.)
Is it legal to keep a pet crow?
In the U.S., migratory birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Even though crows don't always migrate, every type of crow you might find in the U.S. is included on the Department of the Interior's Federal Register of Migratory Birds. This means that it is illegal to take, possess, export, import, transport, sell, purchase, or trade any crow or any part of a crow (including feathers), or their eggs or nests, without a permit. It's also illegal to hunt, capture, take, or kill them without a permit in most states.
But what if I find the crow injured and want to nurse it back to health?
You are never supposed to take a crow in, no matter what. Even if you helped a crow heal from an injury or survive a storm, it is always illegal to keep a native crow, no matter how much you care about the creature. Even if you have a really good story, like; "He had been attacked by dogs so I nursed him back to health and now we're inseparable." The best thing to do if you find a crow-in-need is to call your local Wildlife Protective Services. If that doesn't work, you can try to nurse it back to health, but the goal should be the bird's freedom.
What happens if I break the law?
You could be charged with a felony. At the very least, you'll likely be fined and penalized. Not only that, but you'd be endangering the bird. It's unethical and unkind to take a wild bird and put it in a cage, especially since a crow would require a very large and special type of custom cage. Since you won't be able to find a vet that would treat your illegal crow, if it got sick, it would be entirely your fault.
Are crows good pets?
For many reasons, practical and moral, crows do not make good pets. People who work rehabilitating crows often compare taking care of crows to taking care of human babies. They'd need a custom cage that allowed them to stretch their wings at least, and, ideally, fly. They are extremely active and curious creatures and could get easily bored without constant interaction and innovation. That's how much time, care, and effort they require as pets. So taking a crow as a pet is like kidnapping a child, one who can't ever become independent in captivity. Not only that, but a crow might live 20 years. So you'd have a very long, difficult, expensive, full-time job tending your hostage.
Would a crow be happy as a pet?
You might try to convince yourself that you'll make a better crow family than a crow would and that your home will be more comfortable than a crow's natural habitat. But you'd be fooling yourself for selfish purposes. Crows are extremely intelligent and social creatures. Without friends and freedom, a crow is likely to get bored and depressed.
How can I get closer to crows without owning one?
You could become an accredited Wildlife Rehabilitator or volunteer at your local Wildlife Protection Services. Or, instead of trying to own and possess it, you could simply befriend the crow and let it live its natural life, in the wild, with its own crow family.
To read more about the idea of having a pet crow, read Crows as Pets: Is It Legal to Have a Pet Crow?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: How do I stop crows from banging on my windows?
Answer: The first thing to do if figure out why the crow is banging on your window. Is there something inside she's trying to get? Is there an animal inside she's taunting? Is she trying to get your attention? Does she see her reflection in the glass? Figure out WHY, and proceed from there.
Question: I have a backyard where crows are comfortable. I feed them every second day or every day. We are comfortable within a meter. I love them. I am moving, not far but a 10min walk away. Will they find me?
Answer: This is a fascinating question. I doubt they'd find you on their own, unless their territory spans that far. If you're moving out of their territory, it would be awkward for them to barge in on another crow's territory to interact with you (bad crow etiquette to invade neighbor crow's area). You could do two things: 1. bring a pocket full of peanuts, go to your old house, and find them. Leave a trail of peanuts from your old house to your new while the crows are watching. If you did this a few times, your crows would learn your new place, but as I said, I'm not sure if they will follow or visit you there since it's probably not in their territory. The other option is simply to make new crow friends with the crows that live in your new neighborhood. Please let me know what you decide to do!
Question: When you give crows peanuts, do you take the peanuts out of the husk?
Answer: No. I give them the whole thing, shell and all. They are so smart that if I gave them a can of food, they'd probably invent some genius tool to open it. No need to baby them! Besides, if the nut is still in the shell, it's easier for them to carry, cache, and save it for later.
Question: I have seen some ravens in my backyard, and I’m willing to make friends. How do I do this?
Answer: Well, ravens are a whole other thing. Crows are very skittish and shy, but ravens are even more so. Ravens are also more solitary and rural and less interested in humans in general. I wish I could tell you exactly how to make friends with ravens, but there are none in my neighborhood, so I'd be guessing. If I were you, I'd start with eggs and peanuts and go from there, but I wouldn't get my feelings hurt if they ignored me. Ravens are very good at taking care of themselves, and historically that has meant not relying on us humans for anything!
Question: For the past three days, I've noticed one crow and one mockingbird hanging out together. They fly around with each other, play "dive bomb" each other and fly into trees or onto posts together. It seems like they also communicate with each other. Is this normal? I live in Southern CA.
Answer: I'm not surprised, but I am charmed! Many creatures develop inter-species friendships. I wonder if they're both young. It would be early for crows to hatch (usually May or June) but maybe it happens earlier in Southern CA.
Question: Do crows mimick?
Answer: If you mean sounds, yes they do. They can repeat the sounds made by people, other animals, and inanimate objects. Songbirds and parrots can both mimic, and crows are songbirds. They can make sounds that sound very much like words, babies crying, dogs barking, doors slamming, car alarms, etc.
Question: I have been feeding a young crow who was introduced to me via his dad whom I have been feeding for over a year. The young bird and I were very close and would feed out of my hand and bring gifts but I have not seen him for a few days? Where is he and why?
Answer: My guess is that she or he is out wooing someone. It's that time of year, you know. When crows are old enough, they mate for life and then establish their own territory. Maybe your crow friend is growing up.
Question: Should I be careful what I feed my family of crows? I have been so happy to have them respond to me, and even recognize me. I have tried several food items, but I do not want to hurt them.
Answer: This is an excellent question, one I ask myself all the time. If we humans are going to break the rules and feed wild animals, we certainly must take full responsibility for the repercussions. They say "Don't mess with Mother Nature," and we should keep this tenet in mind. These birds would be fine without us, so feeding them is like opening a can of worms (so to speak!) in that it might make them more dependent on humans (and less independent and able to help themselves, as a result.) If the food we feed them is harmful, we can hurt them that way, too. For example, what if the peanuts I buy from Costco are laced with some kind of pesticide I don't know about? Even if I don't know this, it's my responsibility if the birds get ill as a result of my actions! So it's great that you are asking yourself this question, since it means you are acting responsibly and you'll be less likely to hurt them as a result.
Question: After we tame a crow, can it follow us and can we take it to places and teach it tricks?
Answer: I advise against trying to "tame" a crow. It's an emphatically bad idea to try to control, manipulate, take, train, or expect a crow to do tricks. Not only is it a bad idea, it is also illegal. Crows are not pets.
Question: Will crows ever see me as a friend too?
Answer: This is impossible to answer, isn't it? Like humans, every crow is different, with individual emotions and behaviors and styles. I've heard stories about crows that are extremely very outgoing and friendly, but most crows? Not so much. Some emote in a way a human can pretend to understand, most don't. I tell myself my crows are my friends and that they like me back, but I don't know if it's true. Do they really like me or do they just like the food I give them? I'll never know for sure, but I like to think the feeling is mutual.
Question: Do crows steal things?
Answer: Do they! They'll "steal" anything that interests them: food, shiny things, little bits, etc. But of course, to them, it's not "stealing" at all. If you leave it out, then it's really up for grabs, isn't it? Finders = keepers.
Question: Have you ever witnessed a crow funeral? I saw one a couple of years ago near my house under a telephone pole.
Answer: I have often seen crows gather in large groups and have strange- and emotional-sounding conversations. I always wonder what the topic is, but I suppose the only way to know for sure it is a funeral is if there is a dead crow. I have never seen a dead crow in my neighborhood. However, I have seen a dead baby raven in the place on the mountain where I walk every day. It was at the foot of a tall tree and I assume that's where the nest was and it did not learn how to fly fast enough. For days, I heard the parents croaking and muttering in the trees overhead.
Question: Specifically, how many years did you wait until you were friends with the crows?
Answer: Well, that's hard to answer since there was no substantial defining moment or turning point. I'd say that it took several months to establish a pattern with the crows and set up a model of interaction. At first, it took awhile to "find" each other—I'd come out of my house, and they'd be busy elsewhere, or they'd be waiting outside for me when I wasn't coming out. It took several months for me to learn their routine, and vice versa.
I should also say that our "friendship" consists of me feeding them and them noticing me. I feed them because I'm interested in them and want to connect, but I can't say the feeling is mutual (although they do love peanuts!).
Question: Do your crows take the husks off the peanuts themselves?
Answer: Yes! Sometimes, when they're really hungry or feeling unrushed, they'll peck the peanuts out right there in the street where I've thrown them. Other times, when there's a lot of competition for the peanuts (other crows) or traffic, they'll pick them up (three seems to be the maximum they can fit in their beaks!) and fly off to cache them to enjoy for later. The shell allows them to do that--it's like a little stay-fresh package in case they want to wait to enjoy the nut. (Of note: when I feed them boiled eggs, they eat the whole thing, shell and all.)
Question: I have a group of crows, a crew of three, which I take to be the mom, dad, and grown young one. Is the larger of the two adult crows in my local murder the female? They land on my patio railing and look through the window to let me know they are ready for their offering. I have become very fond of them, and I even get that lovely burbling sort of chatter from the lead crow.
Answer: I love that "love rattle" noise they make! You are very lucky. As for the size, male crows tend to be slightly larger than females, but of course, that's no sure way to tell gender. You could have a paired couple made up of one smallish male and a largish female. Without doing a physical/medical inspection, the best way to tell the difference between female and male crows is to look at behavior rather than size. The males tend to be more assertive. They're often the ones to call loudly when they see me, the first to land on the street and swagger back and forth, waiting for me to throw the peanuts. The females hang back, sometimes even missing the chance to get a nut. Still, just as with people, I imagine these personality differences are not all gender-related, so ultimately the only way to tell a male from a female is with a physical inspection of their vents and bloodwork. Without that, all you can do is guess... and I would guess that the bigger, burbling one is the male.
Question: Do crows have a leader, just like wolves?
Answer: No, they don't. There doesn't appear to be a pecking order for crows. They usually form a mated pair, and neither the male nor the female appears to be the leader. They both participate equally in raising their young, building a nest, etc. When they gather to roost, it's a complete democracy, and no one crows appears to be granted anymore or less respect than the others.
Question: What's a good way to find crows in your neighborhood? There's about 3-4 crows that hang around my neighborhood and I really want to befriend them but I have trouble finding them. I see them in various places now and then but they don't seem to be very consistent. Do crows have a routine and I'm just missing it? If they don't have a routine, what are your tips on finding them?
Answer: This is exactly how it was for me when I first started noticing the crows almost 10 years ago. Crows are busy with their own lives and don't focus much on humans at all... until you form a relationship with them. Doing this takes time, effort, and patience since, as you say, it's hard to communicate clearly when you can't even find them! And they don't really have daily ruts or patterns, either, besides roosting at night, so this makes it extra hard. So first, I'd keep some food in my pocket, and whenever I saw them, I'd stop to chat, let them see my face and hear my voice, and leave some food for them. As I said, don't be surprised if they ignore the food at first: Remember, you're a stranger, and they have no reason to trust you. Just keep going out of your way to make a connection whenever you do see them and eventually, they'll start seeing you first, finding you first, learning your patterns, and hanging around your house. But this will only happen with consistent, repeated effort on your part.
Question: Our daily visiting crow takes the peanuts in the shell to our birdbath and soaks them before eating them. Is a crow soaking peanuts in shell normal?
Answer: Instead of "normal," I'd call that "fancy." My crows never seem to have any trouble getting into the peanut shells, but your crow has developed some elaborate and fascinating eating rituals. I'd love to see the crow doing this. Lucky you!
Question: Can crows eat unsalted popcorn?
Answer: Yes. It's probably smartest to only give them unsalted, unsugared, chemical-free foods if you feed them. I must say that the crows in my neighborhood show strong preferences for protein over grain, however.
Question: What kind of bowl/feeder should I use to make friends with crows?
Answer: No bowl needed! You don't need utensils or napkins, either.
Question: Is there a way I can make physical contact with the crow?
Answer: I don't recommend trying to make physical contact with a crow. If a crow chose to make physical contact with you, I suppose that would be a different story, but crows are wild animals and their independence should be respected.
Question: We've rescued a baby crow with leucism, and he hasn't made a noise the entire time he's been with us, or when we watched him outside. Do you know why?
Answer: I wonder if he's deaf. I know that there may be a connection between albinism and deafness in humans, and I know an all-white cat that is also deaf. If he's never heard noises, that might explain why he isn't making any.
Question: Have you ever seen a crow funeral? I have.
Answer: No, I haven't. I would be interested in hearing more about it!
Question: Do you have specific crow friends and can you tell them apart? If so, how?
Answer: I'd like to believe that I can tell them apart, but the truth is I'm guessing. I can usually guess that the two or three crows that linger outside my house and caw when they see me are the mated pair and their fledgling, and that the other crows who come flying are the neighboring families. But in truth, I am only guessing based on behavior. None of the crows I see have any distinguishing marks (variations in size, distinguished beaks or feathers, or other marks) that would help me. When a large (10+) crowd shows up, there is one crow that has a unique voice that sounds almost human. I can hear that crow's uniqueness, but I couldn't pick that strange-voiced crow out in a lineup!
Question: I've heard crows collect shiny trinkets. Is this right?
Answer: I believe most corvids (including crows, ravens, blue jays, magpies, etc.) have artistic eyes and like to gather bright, shiny, colorful things. I don't know what they do with them, since I've never looked inside a nest to see how they've decorated. "Nesting" is the term we use, and it applies to both corvids and many humans!
Question: Is that normal to have only one lonely crow camping in my backyard? I have been giving this crow my leftover food & fruit. She/he would be on the tree branch looking in my back door when I come down for coffee in the morning and when we have dinner at night.
Answer: It's true that you usually see the mated pairs together, they do separate often throughout the day for a variety of reasons (getting material to build nests, look for food, etc.). Sometimes, mom and dad go off to look for food for the newly-hatched crow. Maybe it was the young crow you saw, waiting for the parents to come back? It could be an unmated crow, too, or maybe something bad happened to his/her mate or family.
Question: Have you ever been swooped by crows? I was getting nervous they would hit me this morning.
Answer: Yes, I have been swooped quite often. It kind of raises the hair on your head, doesn't it? But don't worry, there's no way a crow would accidentally hit you. They're way too agile and smart for that.
Question: I have found that crows like dog food kibble, but not the kind with pointy shapes. Do they prefer the round shape? It's probably more comfortable in their craw. One of my crows came down to eat some dog food this afternoon while I was hanging laundry, not 10 feet away and didn't mind that I looked at it from time to time.
Answer: Since I don't have a dog, I have never tried dog food, but it makes sense that they'd like it. Good protein, probably tasty, portable. Probably fine if your dog has its bowl inside, but probably not so nice if the dish is outside (the crows might get the message that it's their food, not the dog's!).
Question: Why do crows watch us?
Answer: They watch you because they are extremely curious and intelligent creatures. Their curiosity and intelligence might compel them to watch you to see what you're doing, see if you have anything (like food) that they want, and see if you pose any danger.
Question: Is it safe to feed crows peanuts in the springtime? Will peanuts not choke their babies?
Answer: Yes, it is definitely safe. Trust the crows to know what will choke their babies! They're the experts, not us.
Question: Can you feed crows dog or cat food?
Answer: It sounds like a good idea! I don't have a dog, but I do have a cat. Maybe I'll try that... I hesitate since I lean towards offering the crows something that looks like a food they'd find in a natural setting, but I imagine cat or dog food would be an easy, cost-effective solution!
Question: Why does one particular crow befriend us?
Answer: That's a great question. It could simply mean that you are feeding the bird. But if a crow is trying to befriend you without you offering food, that would certainly be a wonderful, mysterious thing! I wonder if you or someone in your family has reached out to the bird in some way? Sometimes, at this time of year (spring), I do see baby crows whose parents have left them to forage. These babies sometimes sit in the redwood tree in my back yard and cry for attention. They get a little bored and lonely.
Question: Can I feed blackbirds, ravens and grackles, as well as crows?
Answer: I'm sure you can feed any bird if you want to! I imagine that ravens are the most skittish and difficult to make friends with, however, since they don't pay much attention to humans.
Question: Do you feed the crows off the ground, or will they come to a feeder?
Answer: I feed them off the ground, because it's a simple and no-frills method. They're certainly smart and bold enough to figure out how a feeder works, but then you'll be setting them up to compete with the other, smaller birds that might grow accustomed to the feeder.
Question: I always remove excess skin from chicken before I cook it. Remembering roadkill, I decided to try to give it to my mama crow and two babies. It was funny to watch the babies try to pull it and eat it till mama came and made it bite size! The next batch was cut into small pieces. Is this an okay way to make friends with crows? They loved it and my garbage is without smelly chicken skin!
Answer: That's an excellent use of scraps. What a treat for those babies! I'm sure the crow family appreciates you. It's also fine to leave it whole and let them figure out how to eat it themselves, too.
Question: Why do crows peck at car mirrors and bodywork?
Answer: I know some particularly territorial birds see their reflections and get angry. I'm surprised a crow would do that, though. All the crows I know are too smart for that.
Question: Do crows and ravens get along? I have several crows that visit me every day and a mated pair of ravens (who are much larger) who visit periodically.
Answer: I think corvids have an implicit understanding, like they know they're from the same family. I have seen crows hanging out with both ravens and blue jays. But I've also seen crows casing blue jays' nests for eggs to poach, and I imagine that if the ravens and crows were competing for slender assets inside the same territory, they might not get along so well.
Question: So I have a garden and the crows here keep eating my tomatoes. Will making friends with them stop them from eating my tomatoes?
Answer: I doubt it will stop them from eating the tomatoes, but it would make you feel better about them eating them! (Better get a net for those tomatoes.)
Question: Do male crows look after their children?
Answer: Yes, male crows do participate in parenthood. It is believed crows usually mate for life, and the mated pair work as a team to build the nest and feed, tend, and raise the hatchlings.
Question: Do crows get hangry?
Answer: Don't we all? Who doesn't lose it a little when they forget to eat?! The difference is that most people can just go grab a snack, but wild animals' eating patterns depend on luck and chance.
Question: I found a young crow caught in a wire fence and had to cut the top of the wing to get it out. After I had the crow out, I noticed it had a very bad broken leg. The wing is mending well but I don't know what to do about the leg as I don't have the funds to take it to the vet. What do you think I should do?
Answer: I'd call your local department wildlife control and ask them what to do. If that weren't possible for some reason, I'd call all the vets in my area and explain the situation. I bet someone would step up to help.
Question: My uncle used to fry moldy cheese and eat it and he lived to a ripe old age. My question is can I feed my crows moldy cheese?
Answer: Crows will eat all kinds of gross stuff (rotten bits, vomit, garbage, etc.). They're scavengers, after all. Go ahead and feed them the cheese. If they don't want it, they won't eat it.
Question: We have a hurt crow in our yard. Other crows beat up on him/her. What can we do to help him/her?
Answer: I'd contact my local Animal Rescue or Shelter immediately. They will know what to do. Crows do sometimes fight each other. It could be a crow family squabble, or it could be territorial dispute.
Question: I have a family of these awesome crows that have been coming daily for almost 2 years now. What can you suggest regarding food during these winter months?
Answer: They will certainly appreciate the extra help food-wise during winter. The foods I mentioned in the article are good year-round. If you can get your crows to eat table scraps, that'd be an ideal choice.
Question: I feed crows at home and work. Sometimes usually a bigger crow will try to get pretty close. If I am in my car they will walk across my hood close to the glass or on my mirror to catch my eye. Do crows like to show off that they are brave?
Answer: I do notice that one or two of the biggest will strut closer and stand there in a rather aggressive stance. I don't know if they do this because they are brave or show-offy or perhaps because they know that if I don't see them, they won't get fed... so the bravest ones make themselves as big as possible so I'll respond with food. So I recognize this behavior but I'm not sure exactly what causes it-- the bird's audacity or its hunger.
Question: Recently a large number of Falcons have located in the trees behind my house. Many people come to watch them, using binoculars and photographing them. My group of regular crows along with 3-4 other groups of crows are very bothered by this, working together to interrupt the falcons updrafts and direction of flight. Should I be doing anything to provide safety (for the crows) or perhaps discourage the falcons from coming around?
Answer: Definitely a territorial dispute, and I'd definitely let the birds work it out for themselves. If you stepped in, you'd be deciding that your opinion of the situation was the most important. We don't know what's happening, haven't considered the falcons' perspective. Besides, the falcons are probably migrating, only stopping in for a moment!
Question: Are ravens legal to keep as pets?
Answer: In the US, all migratory birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Although ravens often don't migrate, they are still listed on the Department of the Interior's Federal Register of Migratory Birds, and it is indeed illegal to keep them as pets.
Question: Is it possible for two people to befriend the same group of crows at one time?
Answer: Yes! Of course, crows can befriend many others. Just like people, they can "like" and maintain relationships with lots of friends, so there's no need to be jealous. After I started feeding my neighborhood crows, I met a neighbor doing the same thing. We struck up a conversation. I found out her name is Carmen and she always feeds them bread while she takes her dogs for a walk. If it weren't for the crows, Carmen might still be a stranger to me, so I'm very grateful.
Question: Do Owls eat Crow babies?
Answer: Yes, owls predate on crows—both young and old ones. Some species of owls are quite a bit larger than a crow, so a crow might make a very filling catch. That's why crows band together to defend themselves and "mob" larger predatory birds like hawks and owls.
Question: Do crows like whole corn?
Answer: My best guess is that it depends on the crow. Most farmers take measures to protect their crops from pillaging country crows who'll eat almost anything, but my urban-dwelling crows are a bit more picky about what they eat, perhaps because there is more food available in a city setting. My crows have even turned their noses (beaks) up at leftover roasted chicken... I doubt a country crow would be so finicky. So give corn a try and see if they like it!
© 2014 A Fonté
Keats.Ailsa on August 23, 2020:
Broadcast 5329 road
Joshua.Jocelyn on August 21, 2020:
Beeghley 2304 street
Moni on August 16, 2020:
I m sharing the same experience as yours with my adorable flock of crows. They had even surprised my on my birthday with a big crow community celebration. I love them and I ll protect them until I m alive. ❤
Nasha on July 09, 2020:
At back outside of my bathroom window have crows nest with 3 babies, what should i do...leave it there?
Anshu Agarwal on July 04, 2020:
My maid rescued a baby crow and brought him to my home. He is very scared. I don't know wat to do. Please suggest
Joartis on June 23, 2020:
I started feeding some crows a coupe of months ago because I could hear their squawk. squawk, squawk each morning and wondered if it was a hungry call. I started with some day-old bread, and the pieces were gone in less than an hour. Then I started experimenting with different things until I realized they would eat anything! I then became concerned that I might give them something they shouldn't have and turned to my trusty computer where I found you! I noticed this morning that their squawk was 3 squawks, but when one of them saw the food on the ground, it became a 5 squawk. I think there is only one female and one gorgeous male. I think we both look forward to our morning feeds! Thanks for the information!
Vidula M. on June 21, 2020:
Great article! I have befriended two crows whom i have named Kaku and Kaki. Kaku is the male, he has got such an energetic and witty personality and is way too curious while Kaki his mate is a gentle soul. They have started to trust me and feeds from my hand.
Yes, they love boiled egg yolks and yogurt. Kaku goes crazy at the sight of yogurt and gulps it down pretty fast before kaki can have it. They perch up on my window sill, and visit me more than 3 times a day. Sometimes they would visit me early in the morning around 6:30, and if i am still asleep or laying in my bed, they would just leave without saying a caw and would visit me later. Such manners! I just love them.
Sudhansu Sahu on June 17, 2020:
Crows like to eat biscuits..... There are two crows who appear at my window daily in the morning .... I distinguish between them by the different calls they make to ask for food ..one does a long quite caw and the other just says caw in three times pattern loud... So I take a biscuit and hold it near to them, and they take it from my hand :) ....also now they Fully recognise me and when I'm on my roof , sometimes they appear sit on my TV dish and do caw caw... And yes it's really awesome to have two crow friends. PS: they are picky at what they eat.. :) and they do like biscuits ( plain not with cream )..
Teresa on June 14, 2020:
I’m glad people adore crows, I do, I have a beautiful friend crow, comes for visit every third day, I feed her, sometimes she will show up for no reason when I’m seating on balcony, she will join my company, and I talk to her, she stopped calling for food, just silent, and stare true my windows, looking at me, so cute, I love her, my best friend!
email@example.com on June 10, 2020:
My evidence that crows appreciate and love you for feeding them is they leave nuts, bones, etc. on my fence for me. Less return for what I give them, but nonetheless a return of thank you. I also have a parrot and when I do what he wants he says, "thank you" or "your such a good bird." I in no way trained him to say that. He does that on his own.
C on June 05, 2020:
I befriended a crow and now it talks to me... makes small child like sounds and a parrot like less defined "Hehroh". I'm lucky I guess, but something tells me this bird was raised by humans at least partially. Do crows often learn to attempt mimicking language?
JD on June 01, 2020:
It’s interesting. My mom in northeastern Connecticut has befriended a whole flock of crows for years. They, and their offspring, come back every year. They come when called but don’t get close enough to touch or anything. They just coexist. My boyfriend and I just moved more rural and we have one gentleman crow who walks up our driveway, sifts through the mulch that’s washed down a few times a day. I’ve started putting out a plate for him about 10am everyday. It’s fun learning what he likes. So far he’s not a fan of strawberries or blueberries, but really loves peanuts and potato rolls haha. I bought some eggs to boil for him today on your suggestion. I’ve named him Clarence and I hope we can coexist nicely in each other’s company. Any suggestions?
Elizabeth Witt on May 30, 2020:
I was wondering why do you think crows get such a bad rap? We have a whole little murder in our neighborhood and people are horrified when they find out I feed them.
Sheilakap on May 17, 2020:
Hello ive been admiring and observing crows for about 50 years. Ive found them to be extremely fond of RAW eggs over boiled. MOST nuts of course, with walnuts being a fovorite, almonds a close second, sunflower seeds and cashews.. And MUCH prefer them UNSHELLED. Peanuts too, though technically NOT a nut, If given a choice between shelled or UN-shelled, the latter wins every time, hands down. Ive learned that both pigeons seem to have a friendly relationship. I witness almost weekley crows "attempting" to speak pigeon AND the pigeons speaking CROW! And not too poorly either. Ive taught wild sparrows to whistle a song ditty. I to believe birds in general ARE capable to a certain degree anyway, of what only parrots ever got credit for.
I live in southern California and and can attest with certainty that YES, babies come early here. Ive been lucky enough to watch from afar with binoculars, the full mating process icluding nest building, eggs hatching and even the young learning to walk and then fly. Its rare for anyone to witness this due to the fact that crows lesrn to walk before they learn to fly. They spend approximately 3 days on the ground before they fly. During this time they are vulnerable to all kinds of predators. This makes the parents EXTREMELY particular where choose to raise their young. One pair went as far as to build a PLATFORM just below their nest high in the trees of approximately 4x5 feet. From what i could tell, it was woven tight and strong and with amazing precision. I felt so privileged to be witness to the small crow takining its first steps on that platform. A true testimony to the amazing intelligence of these under appreciated birds.
Just an FYI.. A flock of crows is technically called a " MURDER" of crows. And, a flock of Ravens is considered.... get this.. "An UNKINDNESS". How sad is THAT?
Just another way these wonderful creatures have been tabooed by people.. Just like the RAT, (domestic not sewer) another amazingly intelligent, social and loving creature.
The BEST small pet for anyone. 10 times better than rabbits, hamsters, Guinea pigs etc. Please, NEVER take on the responsibility of ANY PET unless you are able to provide EVERYTHING IT NEEDS TO LIVE a long, healthy and MOST OF ALL.. A HAPPY LIFE. To take possession of ANY animal and to merely allow it to exist by just feeding it.. Is IN NO WAY ACCEPTABLE. Without proper exercise, attention, housing, etc. Also, considered by LAW to be unacceptable and inhuman treatment! And people this includes FISH! (tho not by law) Ive come to the conclusion that FISH, including GOLDFISH are more intelligent than people have given them credit for. Very trainable to swim through hoops, synchronize swimming with a number of other tricks. Oh, And.. Fyi.. They very much dislike those bright LED LIGHTS that we seem to insist them to live with. ALSO... FISH CAN AND DO FEEL PAIN!
IN SPITE OF WHAT SCIENCE CURRENTLY TELLS US. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT. ITS NOT THE FIRST TIME THEY'VE BEEN WRONG! Finally they now admit they were WRONG DOGS DO ACTUALLY SEE IN COLOR. I knew that when i was 5 years old.
Everyone considering ANY pet ownership.. DO THIS FIRST.. Really REALLY look at what it is.. Research WHAT it NEEDS to have in order to THRIVE not simply to exist!
Consider being able to provide that for LONG TERM.. and /or as long as it lives.. Without fail!
And.. Dont necessarily believe what the pet store people tell you when it comes to FISH especially! THEY WILL ALMOST ALWAYS SELL YOU A SMALLER TANK than what is needed. This is in part why fish often end up dead so soon afterwards.
Wow.. Sorry, i REALLY digress.. Ive always been a huge animal person and have quite a few pet peeves in relation to that. Once i get on it, it can be rather difficult for me to stop.
All wildife.. ALL animal life is precious, without a doubt!
Crows however, have ALWAYS held a very special place in my heart and in my life.
Avery A. on May 16, 2020:
I’ve recently become enraptured in the world of birding. It all started with one birdfeeder and my love for it has only grown. One day, a group of blue jays were chattering in my yard, and a much deeper CAW caught my attention. When I looked out my bedroom window, I saw huge black wings.
When I came down to my back door, which is glass, I saw a single crow eating at a pinecone feeder that had been knocked to the ground. Since then I’ve worked to find what my neighborhood crows like to eat. It’s always the same pair of crows, as I’ve never seen more than two in my yard. It’s been amazing to watch the once wary crow who suspiciously pecked at a boiled egg bring her mate along to eat on my patio.
I have a nut-based birdseed mix that the smaller songbirds in my neighborhood don’t care for, but the jays and crows (and squirrels) love it. I have three hanging birdfeeders, and for the crows i have a platter for the nuts, and a smaller cat dish to put things like boiled eggs or fresh fruits.
I am someone who lives with mental illness, and nothing makes me smile like seeing that pair relaxed and having a meal together.
Sheila k. on May 16, 2020:
Hello ive been admiring and observing crows for about 50 years. Ive found them to be extremely fond of RAW eggs over boiled. MOSY ALL nuts, walnuts especially, almonds, sunflower seeds and cashews.. And MUCH prefer them UNSHELLED. Peanuts too, though technically thats NOT a nut, If given a choice between shelled or UNshelled, the latter wins every time, hands down. Also, ive learned that both pigeons and doves seem to have a friendly relationship. I witness almost weekley crows "attempting" to speak DOVE AND the pigeons/doves speaking CROW! And not too badly either. Ive taught wild sparrows to whistle a song ditty. So,... I tend to believe birds in general ARE capable of what only parrots ever got credit for. All wildife is precious, no doubt but crows have ALWAYS my most loved.
Alaina on May 13, 2020:
My crows really love shrimp (unsalted, and not left out for long) They'll see it and swoop in as fast as they can, then fit as many into their beaks as possible. Sometimes they look over and caw happily as if to say thank you! They see my car sometimes and come flying. If they dont spot the car Ill mimic their food calls in a whistle and they usually come flying up.
Cheryl Maxwell on May 09, 2020:
I have been feeding a small group of neighborhood crows for about a year. They like the peanuts but have to get them before the squirrels! Usually the squirrels intimidate the crows but today I saw one of the crows chase the squirrel for a peanut m&m it stole from him. Loved your article, with the virus quarantine the crows have been a fun diversion!
Faya Flynn on May 07, 2020:
I have a small group of crows that come to me, I know there are more but I only see a few at a time, maybe they take turns eating idk. But there's these two crows I've taken to calling Scratch and Scream. Scream is the one who caws at me the most and calls the others, and Scratch is very suspicious, and every time I bring them a new kind of food he shoos everyone away so that he can scratch at it and inspect it. Once he's done, if the food is up to his standards they all feast.
kai overbeck on April 26, 2020:
14 years with feeding and watching one crow family. Siblings live in neighboring trees. I have not used my garbage despenser very much. The crows get All of our leftovers. Gone in 60 seconds. Dad crow is bigger than the rest and will follow me around acting like he is doing something but he is just watching me. He often flies thru my hair. They are up early and to bed early. They hide extra food in places around my property and neighbors. Such a joy to watch their sounds and antics.
Grumble Cat on April 20, 2020:
Does anyone know how to make sure the food gets to the crows and not wolfs, foxs, etc.
Robin on April 17, 2020:
I have about 6 crows that
seem to stay together I love watching them so much I feed them and one time my dog wondered off I yelled for the crows to help and I watched where they flew and they found him for me ! It’s been 10 yrs now and I know they know me also I work 2 miles from home and outside my work window one crow sits I wonder if it’s my crow? They are so smart and fascinating to observe!
Mina on April 12, 2020:
Ive never made friends with a crow but ive always wanted to. I did make friends with a blackbird once. He would come and sit on my head and eat peanuts out of my hand. Sometimes he was to friendly and he would bounce to other peoples heads and freak them out.
Mike on April 10, 2020:
I clearly heard one (probably a parent) of a group of crows in my backyard trees make a sound exactly like a barking dog. Within a minute or so, my neighbor's Dobermans came trotting through the area...
Crow parents do and must spend a lot of time teaching "the tricks of the trade" to their young (who are born relatively dumb).
They also have Crow vocabulary that can vary by region and/or relationships to other Crows.
They are SMART birds !
Ali the grasshopper on April 09, 2020:
Hi, I have rather interesting story about crows that I feel worth sharing here
I live in Tehran and the only breed of crow I have seen in this city is the Pied crow. The story starts just outside of a butcher shop near a very small roundabout In a rathe crowded with almost always heavy traffic-jams. I was waiting for a friend in the side walk when a butcher came out of his shop with a tray in his hand almost as big as a grown man open arms radius full of chicken skin, but before he came out I noticed a wired gathering of crows that they made the gray dirty street ever more darker an even scary, i have seen this type of gathering in parks before where their babes fall off but this time they where quit, any how the guy came near the roundabout and with a very strong swing scattered the tray full of chicken skin in air toward the roundabout at this moment all of the crow started to fly and in matter of seconds there where not even a single piece of skin on the ground an no crows as far as the eye could see as if nothing happened, I feel lucky to be in the right place at right time to witness this magnificent moment. Thanks for the very informative article and god speed.
Jazi Akins on April 08, 2020:
please consider not giving unshelled peanuts - the shells get scattered both by the crows and squirrels who may find a cache - the shells then end up in the yards of children with peanut allergies who are then unable to play in their own yards because of the risk of having an allergic reaction.
there are a good number of healthy for crow but shelf stable alternatives to keep on hand for feeding
Mark miller on April 06, 2020:
Mine pals are Ravens not crows but they come everyday and I feed them lamb and rice dog food
Bonefeather on April 04, 2020:
I live in the middle of nowhere, and i made friends with a crow family by throwing trapped mice out knowing something would eat them. (One of the joys of living in the country is a neverending battle with rodents.) They figured out it was me, and now they check every day to see if I've left anything for them. They really like dry cat food! They prefer that to corn, even.
Charlotte Issyvoo on March 21, 2020:
A few years ago, when we had an unusually dry summer, a family of crows came regularly to our balcony for water. I haven't fed them or given them water since. Today, I saw no crows but threw peanuts into my yard just to see what would happen. Within minutes, they were there, taking the peanuts! I'm assuming it's the same family, given how quickly they came. Now I want to make this a regular thing.
Question: I also feed all the local songbirds and hummingbirds. Will crows chase them away? They didn't when we gave them water, but might they if I feed them regularly?
Cynthia on March 18, 2020:
I have had the same 2 crows since I moved to my place 7 years ago. At this time I have the male, female and the one baby from last year. The male is the one that communicate’s with me. He will come to my deck move his head side to side and talk to me until I feed them. They love scrambled eggs, peanuts.
Carol on March 09, 2020:
I bring peanuts and cheese from my parrot leftovers from night before. One crow comes first, then after he gets most of the cheese the rest come.
I do bring the parrot out sometimes to see the criows.( screened in pool area)
Anyway I went out this morning, crow came and a wild parrot landed with him.
The parrot seemed to be friends with him .
I wonder if the crow brought the parrot for me to show me he is friendly to parrot
Keila on February 14, 2020:
I think the crows were worried about you while you were gone. Definitely seems like they see you as part of the flock. You probably know, they have very tight-knit families :) Loved this!!!
Tony Hewitt on January 30, 2020:
Last year 2019 I was called out to a railway club to take away a crow that was put in there yard as it was being stalked by two cats in Asda car park.
The trouble was they had a event on the next day and Russell our name for him was to friendly and would hop around and on the tables which was not to bad but he left other things behind (not so good) so we collected him.
We took him home and put him in a shed and we let him out every morning, feed him and let him out to do his own thing.
Every night he would go into shed and we would do the same thing the next day.
He would fly down to me when I went out into yard even walked around the dogs.
He stayed for around a month.
We had two other crows that would come into the trees and call like mad and I guess the pull was to great and one day he took off and never came back.
Weather he will turn up In a couple off months this year we will have to wait and see.
We have been called out to another crow and we have had it vet checked and all is well just needs some TLC
Russell was fun to have around so we will see if Cheryl likes us enough to hang around
Yousaf Salman on January 29, 2020:
I have done this naturally, Yes they get close to me and play foodball
and an evening schedule with this menu:
1- Flat Bread
3- Sweet Flat Bread
6- Chick Peas
7- Chicken's Liver (Just Stolen by Eagles)
8- Oreo Biscuits
9- Chocolate Waffles/Pancakes (They survive Chocolate)
10- Element Sugar
I also made a brochure for this restaurant ask me for a print.
Lorrie on December 03, 2019:
Thanks for the article. I made friends with the crows in my neighborhood by accident. One day I heard cawing on our front porch and when I opened the door, a crow that was sitting on the rail flew off. That got me wondering if it would take food if I put some out there. So I put some grapes out there and came back inside. Sure enough, the crow came and ate them. By the end of the day, the crow was allowing me to stand on the porch while he came and grabbed the grapes. My boyfriend named this crow Roadkill. After about a week, Roadkill started coming with 3 other crows, one a baby that he would feed by mouth. They came almost every day from May until about November and then they disappeared. They came back this past May. The baby was now eating on his own and we named him Spaz because he always moved in really spastic movements and he had a limp. Roadkill and Spaz spent the whole summer here. Toward the end of the summer, they came back with 4 other crows. Two of them were babies. The one is very brave and walks right up to me and looks up into my face. He's so cute. He would take cheese right out of my hand and chase the seagulls off. We named him McNugget. I guess they have migrated again for this year because I haven't seen them since Nov. 21. Roadkill and his group of crows are Fish crows. The weird thing in all of this is that a group of 6 American crows started coming by last November right before the fish crows left. The American crows stayed all winter and then left in May when the fish crows showed back up. So now the American crows are back this winter and come just about every day. I feed them dried cat food, grapes, and sometimes cheese as a treat. I'm hoping in May that Roadkill and the other fish crows come back. Also, if they show up and I don't go out there, they will fly up onto the porch roof outside my office window and peek in at me at my desk. I probably sound like a crazy person, but they are really cool creatures and I love that they come to visit.
Nicole sheppars on October 08, 2019:
I remember one day I was waiting for the bus (I live in the middle of nowhere lol) and there were two crows just chatting. not the loud "CAW CAW CAW" or anything, just happy, calm, quiet little "wark " noises. it was pretty cute, actually.
on a side note, I've befriended a flock at my college, and every time I pull up, they start to gather. it scares the shit out of my friends, and apparently other people too. my buddy Michael saw one bring me a pen cap and lost his mind. (they like to bring me feathers too, I think its because they've seen me pick so many up? one brought me an owl feather once, and while I was ecstatic, it kind of scared me)
apparently, im some kind of local legend now? people seek me out for things. bee in the study area? go find Nikki. wondering what that bird was? go find Nikki.
I asked Michael how he was telling people to find me, and his answer was literally "look for the crows"
Jenny on July 18, 2019:
I have a ferret rescue and recently I have befriended a large male crow. He corrs outside my bedroom window in the morning. When I go outside to ckean the ferrets he waits on the roof looking down at me just above me waiting for the raw meat left overs. His favourite food is left over chicks obviously not live. I get frozen for the ferrets. Recently he brought his 2 children for food. He went missing for a few days abd I was worried as he is there every morning. However he showed up this morning like nothing had happened
I have a bird phobia and this has started to help me get over it. I also have a family of foxes which I have fed through their generations. I think crows are magnificent clever birds. The magpies also come to get their feed and run rings round the foxes. My crow just watches as if amused.
Jessie on July 04, 2019:
Recently I've been seeing quite a few crows on my nightly walk. There is about 6 or 7 in this group. They always caw and circle over me the first time I pass them. But not any of the other times I pass them. Why do they do this? And if I start bringing food with me will they stop?
TheCrowsBar on June 26, 2019:
Hi! In my part of L.A., CA the crows come from sunrise to sunset and eat a little bit all day as I do. However, they will NOT eat any fruits or vegetables. Example, I once laid down a pile of grilled cauliflower so the crows redistributed in rows along the grass lawn I call The Crows Bar. Im in a commercial zone and I guess they were taught never to take food from anyones garden so they "replanted the cauliflower" which to them is one of their contraband items. They live pizza, taquitos, hotdogs, cashews, cooked chicken... but NO fruits or vegetables will the take!! In exchange for the food they love to pose for great photos and they dont mind me taking pictures. I camp out and watch them and if I sleep in they are near me staring at me until I wake up and when I wake up they do not say caw caw they perch on a lightpole and say Aww Aww. Very amusing. I play nonchalant with them, as though disinterested.... once a crow on a sunny day approached and began hopping up and down and cawing profusely so I guessed it was warning me of an enemy and I took cover to find there was an unforecasted rare rain cloud five minutes away! Silly, smart little creatures.
Marge on June 22, 2019:
I feed crows at work. They come for peanuts in the shell when I whistle. Will they figure out my M-F schedule? I want to be consistent.
Sophie on June 12, 2019:
wow its nice to know theres people out there that care about animals and don't just wan't to capture it! Oh and yesterday I was on my balcany and a crow had landed right next to me, it was amazing and now I realy hope I get to know it better!
Lanie on May 26, 2019:
Thank you for your article. For the past 2 weeks each evening when I fill the birdbath with fresh water I find a gift that the crows leave for me. They have left apple and pear cores, cheese, goldfish snacks, bread, chicken bone and a jolly rancher. I’ve gotten where I look forward to filling the bath just to see what was left behind.
helenaberlin on May 07, 2019:
Living in Berlin we have hooded crows .These are black with an amazing grey vest .As smart as all corvids they too love their food .When I had a rather bad accident and was housebound they came to see me each day and were my motivators .Berlin has huge lakes and the game these birds love is playing Osprey -Throw a shelled peanut way out and they will either dive for it or grasp with their claws and do a vertical take off .Smart birds and simply glorious to watch and listen to --Great reading the comments of all you fellow Corvid lovers ...There are folk who say crows are not songbirds to which I always reply they are the Wagnerian opera singers ..
Voula on May 06, 2019:
A crow near my home in London where I live has twice swept down and touched the top of my head which has made me scared to walk down the street as it’s happened on the same road , this road is always used as a dumping ground for rubbish which I’m sure he gets his daily food from
Blue on May 05, 2019:
Hi, just wanted to say thanks for the info on what to feed crows, i looked at this because i basically have a pet crow and well hes been super friendly even though i feed him once every so often, and was looking for a wider variety hes recently started landing on me whenever i go outside and its nice but walking down the street with a crow on my shoulder or following me has caused some pretty unusual looks and ive taken to calling him oros since then i guess hes started recognizing it because sitting away fron on a tree trunk ill whistle a small tune and say oros and hes started coming to me honestly never thought id love having a bird around so much, and no i dont keep him caged up hes just constantly hanging around my neighborhood and even if he does leave he comes back the next day. Oros is a great crow
MayaAn on April 26, 2019:
I am a crows "friend" from many years now (like 15) and they are magnificent creatures. I am around of 4 families of crows and their grown up babies. They sometimes fight each other because of the territories. These are grey/black urban crows (that have like 7 members or so) not the "flock" field ones (200 members), that migrate over year (I saved few of those too, because they get hurt by hitting the buildings walls when they arrive in the city during fall season). These crows are pretty different. Grey urban ones are close to us more than black (field) ones. I saved some of both kinds. I even saved few babies that were not able to fly at that time and couldn't let the nature decides, since there are many cats in the area. I learnt something about crows - whatever you help them for a while, even babies, they will never become a "pet". The few I saved, keeping them like a month or two until they become independent - I was so afraid that they will became too close to me (the last one I had followed me everywhere like a dog, in the yard, back in the house, flying around me but never go further) - when the time came for them to fly for good, they never came back closer to me as more as their new families. The "new" family, that accepted them, turned them quickly in wilds ones, with a lot of fighting from the start. I even thought they will kill the new ones, but is only a process to get them back to the wild. I live in a green area of the city and in my country having wild birds is not illegal (except few special species, like some certain hawks and owls). I strongly believe human should not interfere much with wild creatures - except helping them and release them when case, but crows are not so considered to be so "wild" I mean not more than pigeons in my view. As pigeons, crows understand us pretty much, since they live so close to us.
C. Scout on March 28, 2019:
There is an injured crow that I’ve spotted many times near my new house. Crows have always been beautiful and...well, intriguing, to me. I have no plans on “rescuing” the injured bird and keeping it as a pet, but I’ve found myself in a very similar situation before with a dove. I want to try and earn the crow’s trust so I can either see how damaged they are, or call someone to professionally care for them. This article was a great help! I’m looking forward to some future birdwatching...
Natalia on March 26, 2019:
Whenever i try to feed crows, i just put some food on the floor where they usually are and wait, the problem is that the pigeons beat the crows too it
Chantal on March 25, 2019:
When you went on vacation you probably took a plane, so for your crows you disapear from the surface of earth! So they worried about you all that time thinking something bad happened to you, maybe death.. when they saw you, on the video they tell you how glad to see you are all right! ☺
ConnorCrows on March 23, 2019:
I love the sound of crows and watching them is very awesome
Adam Kemp on March 11, 2019:
This is very cool, I might make a feeder, and set it out occasionlly, and if it works, I will tell you. I also have a ton of crows and ravens that like to sit on my school. And I will never be able to tell you how much I liked your story, and I will probably comment on this tomorrow. Do crows like toys, flying toys, because I would like yo send a toy with camera attached to it, I don't want to scare them.
Helena walsh on February 24, 2019:
I have may 100 to to 150 living just across the way from me where there is quiet a few trees.i throw out all sorts to them in the mornings and when I whistle it’s quiet anamazing sight to see them swoon down for the food. I can sit quiet close. Sometimes they sit on the lampposts waiting for me. I think they are great creatures, mind you they are very noisy and do annoy some of the neighbours early in the mornings. I live in the country in Ireland .
Reg on February 11, 2019:
I walk my dog on the same route through the neighborhood and do notice different nesting pairs of crows every 100 yards or so. "Territory", I suppose. Perhaps ten years ago I started throwing the dog treats on the street when I saw the crows watching (to pick up the treats my dog missed). Over the years one nesting pair would turn up with a younger crow, sometimes two, their offspring, I suppose. A hundred yards further another pair of crows would stop by on the street, perhaps 10 yards from the sidewalk to get their treats and the first pair of crows would fly off. Eventually even a 1/2 mile down the road, different crows would caw caw (meal time!!!) and would follow me until I had passed their "territory" giving way to a new pair of crows. Once I saw an old crow with tattered feathers stopping by for a treat. I felt that this crow recognized me and came by for a snack. A few days later (I walk every day) the crow had stopped coming by. I was saddened since this particular crow had probably stopped by for a treat from me for a few years.
Yes, crows do recognize people, and dogs too. However, when a crow comes too close, perhaps 3 yards away, my dog lunges as to keep them from coming too close. He otherwise ignores the crows. T
Thanks for your story.
Tweek on February 10, 2019:
They like steak fat and freeze dried buggies
Michael on January 27, 2019:
One spring, several years ago, I was being dive bombed by a couple of crows every morning on my way to work. I assumed that they had a nest nearby and were trying to alter my route away from their nest. I complied and walked on the other side of the street. I decided to befriend them and started greeting all the neighborhood crows with a distinctive "Hello". I also started leaving food in our yard and when they came by to eat, I would repeat the hello call. I now am known to all the neighborhood crows and they do not fear me. They keep their distance, but my wife is amazed that they don't jump or fly away when I get near them (usually they will let me get as close as a yard away before they hop a little further away) and I have never been dive bombed in our neighborhood since. My wife and friends think I am crazy for talking to the crows, but I continue. I find crows to be about the most fascinating animals on the planet and am proud to call them friends. We will be moving to another state soon and hope to get to know the crows in our new neighborhood as well.
Watch "A Murder of Crows" on PBS if you get the chance.
Reg on January 23, 2019:
As a 12 year old, 61 years ago, we were living in Timmons in northern Ontario. I went into the bush and took a young crow from a nest high in a tree. I fed it milk and bread and it matured. When it got bigger it had to go outside but he would fly and sit on my shoulder and chat to me, when it wasn’t sitting on my mothers clothesline, with dire consequences. He/she was a great companion over the supper but in the fall when the other crows started to call he joined them and migrated to a slightly more southerly region
callmeGAZZA on November 12, 2018:
I live in Australia and there is a large family of crows that lives just down the street from me that I've started to befriend recently. I'm not sure how it is in other places but pretty much within a 50 k radius of myself it is strange to see a family of crows with less than say 30 members some areas will even have groups that number in the hundreds. Also crows and other larger Australian birds like kookaburras and magpies all have a really easy time accepting human friendship. I've probably petted at least 100 wild birds just by being slow and offering some food, not to mention when I was a child living with my grandmother there was a family of magpies that would even come in the front door if you left it open just to ask for some food.
cris on November 11, 2018:
We had three Siberian husky rescues and one poor little starving girl gave birth to a brat we named Quinn -oh, the mischief this one got into! One day, I heard a strange sound and went into the backyard. The dog's area is 75 x 100' and enclosed with a 6 foot high chain linked fence. On the back fence sat about five big crows or five ravens -we have both in our area. All the crows were mewling like puppies and the three adult dogs had spread themselves out. It honestly looked like the crows were trying to lure the puppy away from the adults and they were using the puppy as bait to catch a crow! I yelled at all concerned LOL
Neeta Bhardwaj on October 25, 2018:
My friend crows like cheese( especially cheddar)& boiled eggs( esp yolks). They don’t eat bread/ biscuits/sweets.They push away food which they don’t like.
Peter Heisler on October 19, 2018:
I am so happy to find someone I can ask crow questions too. I have a group of crows, 7 to 9 or so. I give them a cup of cat kibble in the morning and another in the evening. I think it's all one family. I put the food out on the ground. Then a Seagull showed up. But this seagull won't let any other seagull near all this. I give the seagull food away from the crows and everyone seems OK with that, no one is pulling anyone else's tail feathers. Am I giving them too much food?
Ellison Hartley from Maryland, USA on September 23, 2018:
This is such a cool article! You obviously are very knowledgeable and I like the way you also explain the crows history and how a certain family line may have been in an area for a long time. That is really interesting! Thanks for sharing your experience!
Sherri Moore on September 02, 2018:
My sister-in-law used to live in the apartment behind me and she fed the crows. She is no longer there and we have take in the apartment behind. One day I was sitting in the backyard and a single crow was perched on the power line obviously watching me and occasionally cawing at me. After a few weeks I decided it wanted to be fed so I went inside and grabbed a handful of dry cat food and tossed it into the yard. The crow cawed several times and within minutes there were several crows in my yard eating cat food. This is a new venture for me but I love it and will report on my progress with my new friends!
Jasmine on August 13, 2018:
I have a couple of crow parents that come back every year and have their babies they sit on the wires and watch me putting out food I love those birds the thing is that I’m going to miss them for we are moving to an acreage not to far away so I’m hoping to have some new crows since I know the ones I’ve come to know over ther years will not follow or is it possible they might
Leonard E. Klein on August 11, 2018:
i have two crows that come for feeding, the one was like it's foot was bent back so he only used the one leg. the next day the whole leg was gone do they grow back?
Ruth Coffee from Zionsville, Indiana on June 12, 2018:
Really, truly wish I would have had this information 6 or 7 years sooner. I lived in a rural neighborhood at one time. Each time I would go for a walk there was a crow that would "caw" at me angrily when I passed some large sycamore trees where he often roosted. In fact, on a couple of occasions, he would swoop down and buzz my head. I would have to be aware!! I swear I never did anything to him, but I have to believe that he mistook me for someone who did. The only other thing I can imagine is that perhaps I almost hit him with my car and I didn't even notice?? I know that some birds do recognized individual people and don't forget.
rAREearthsDavid on June 05, 2018:
I’m going to try and use popcorn, dry food or peppers and see what happens
MsBeachkitty on April 23, 2018:
I had a crow -friend a few years ago.. could get quite close to him, actually. He was a smartiepants... I have chickens and he tried tirelessly to figure out how to open the coop to steal the eggs... Left me feeling so used LOL
Then a friend said they have something like Facial Recognition Software so that this crow KNOWS it's me. Also that his offspring will also recognize me, which I find so incredible!
LilithM1 on April 18, 2018:
Thank you - I found an answer to my question. The other day, I noticed crows building a nest in the trees behind my house. I live in a city - first time I've ever seen this! And instead of a pair, there are three - 2 larger, one smaller. As you suggest, this must be a fledgling from last year who's still living with Mom and Dad. I have a leftover bag of cat food (the expensive stuff) my indoor cats won't eat - I'll try offering it to my crow family!
kylee on April 18, 2018:
my son and i were in front of our house a couple of years ago and a crow said "hello" back and forth with us a bunch of times.
Gordon on April 14, 2018:
Great article, crows are very interesting and intelligent. I had a nest last spring outside my apartment balcony, so that was a lot of fun. The building installed anti crow spikes after that, and the crows came back and managed to rip them out and knock them down 10 floors below, lol. Not an easy feat!
They came back and put nesting material in a few spots but I think the spikes must have made them feel this place is now unsafe. Too bad because it’s really fun to have them around to watch
Joanie on April 06, 2018:
This one crow really liked my yardl He watched me chase the squirrels out of the back bird feeder, and decided he would take up the job. I've a great picture of him standing on the roof of the back old wooden shed, leaned over toward the feeder and almost threatening, squawking at the squirrel when in the feeder. so cute!
MaryT. on March 22, 2018:
My two crows will let me come within 5 feet of them. I'm very conflicted thought because we have sold our home and will be leaving in about 1 month. Who will feed these two? I'll leave a bag of walnuts or kibble for them, with the new owners, but I'm worried that they won't take to the crows like I do.
Crowbro on March 17, 2018:
Big fan of these intelligent birds, but they are ruthless in some aspects. I Was having a beer on the back deck after mowing the lawn one evening and noticed a lot of commotion in my neighbors yard. There was a lookout crow on a tree branch calling to his family and friends. One crow came by, stood on the branch for a moment and dropped down to the base of the tree. The grass was long but I could see that he was having a tough time grabbing something, having dropped the small brown animal twice. I thought that they had found a field mouse perhaps. That crow was able to pick it up and flew off, but it was bigger than a mouse. Another crow came by just then and swooped down to the same area. A rabbit came running out of the bushes and tried to attack the crow! I realized it was a rabbits nest and ran over, getting the crows to fly away. The rabbit stood it’s ground. I went home and grabbed the wire “inbox” for paperwork off my desk and put it over the rabbit hole with a rock on top. The rabbit had left and the crows came back to try to figure how to get the bunnies but could not move the protection. Every morning right before dawn I would put the protection over the hole. Every evening I would take it off, just before dark as rabbits feed their young at night by sitting over the hole so the bunnies have access to their nipples. She was discreet and I was not Ever able to see her feeding. After 2 weeks or so I was concerned that the bunnies did not survive as the hole seemed to have little disturbance in the mornings. My neighbor kept an eye out as well and said that he thought they may have passed too. One evening about an hour or so before dark I returned from golfing and saw the mother hanging out by the “inbox” as 3 bunnies frolicked about. They were a lot bigger than a crow could eat at this point and I took the protection away. The crows now hate me and talk all types of trash to myself and my dog all over my neighborhood. Often they tree a hawk in my yard and when I go out to see all the commotion is about, they fly away immediately. The hawks are happy though.
Lee Aumend on March 04, 2018:
On a couple of golf courses here in Florida the crows sit in the trees near the 10th hole waiting for unsuspecting golfers, with fresh hotdogs, to pull up in their golf cart and leave their wrapped hotdogs in the carts. As the golfers walk up to the tee box, the crows wait until the golfer is standing over the ball preparing to swing before they fly out of the trees, away from the tee box, down toward the ground and then do a 180 to fly into the golf cart to steal the hotdogs. We now eat out quick lunch/snack before we go to the tee box or we don't buy anything to eat.
Melissa on February 18, 2018:
I live out in the country on the east coast of Canada, on the edge of a small hamlet, I’ve seen many crows at once so I think it’s a large family or maybe more than one, I usually throw them scraps and bread, I talk to them kinda baby talk so they know I’m talking to them n not who ever I’m with at the time, I’ve noticed that slowly they let the distance between us shrink, when I first moved here 4 years ago they’d fly away as soon as I open my door, now they’ll stay on the shed or trees or wires n watch me when I come out, if I get too close tho they still fly away, but maybe someday I can get within a few feet, I have no disiar to touch them of course but it’s nice to admire them closer
Anitra on February 11, 2018:
Crows have been a positive addition to my daily routine for years. If I am at work, home, out running errands, they are always watching me or caw cawing. When driving in my car either a single crow or several will grab my attention and fly directly over my car. I assumed they recognize my vehicle and driving pattern to and from. One day when I was at work a crow flew to me and Let me pet it. I held out my arm and it landed on me. For the next few days it returned. Other coworkers were in awe as well as myself of this spectacular sight. I did not make any sudden moves. And pet him on his head and back of neck only. I assumed the crow had some human interaction in the past to be this friendly. Or as legend says accompanied by spirits. My father passed away during that time. So I figured it was My Daddy saying hello. I also had the pleasure of witnessing a “murder of crows” what a group of crows are called, everyday at a particular time of the day which was right before sunset. It could have been hundreds or thousands in Culver City CA. That was Epic!!! The energy was unforgettable. My husband and I both are avid animal lovers. We both always have Hard boiled eggs, nuts, hot dogs, even dry cat food, for our “Crowmies” as we call them. Everywhere we go. I definitely have respect and admiration for their intelligence and mysterious nature.
Robbie on February 10, 2018:
I have been feeding the crows on my front lawn for a couple of years. I put out the food and come back in the house. They like meat and cheese and bread and have NO interest in fruit. I just love them!
Tami on February 10, 2018:
So that's It! There's a communal roost right near my home! Thousands of crows! I'm new to tthge area and had no idea
Robin on February 10, 2018:
Crows are cool. We had a baby that my mom raised 40 years ago. It would come land on the porch when called. It would also steal shiny things, coins, lighters etc.. it was a fun bird. One day she just disappeared.
LINDA BROWN on January 23, 2018:
when i was about 8 years old we had some new nieghbors move in the neighborhood bringing with them a crow that could talk. i ended up adopting the crow who i named nusence. we eventually let him out of the cage. in the mornings he would come to my bedroom window and sing "you gotta get up you gotta get up, you gotta get up in the morning". he also would swoop down and sit on my shoulder when i walked to the bus stop and then would follow the bus to school. he was my best friend for quite awhile till i had to move. it broke my heart to leave him behind.
Judy on January 10, 2018:
I have been friends with the neighborhood crows for nearly three years. There are two territorial groups totaling about 12 -14. The group immediately adjacent to the house is the friendliest and regularly comes to the house for their peanuts and dog kibble and to just hang out with my husband and me if we're working in the yard. Believe it or not, after 18 months of saying "Hello" and talking to them every day, one of them (Jasmine) says "Hello" occasionally when she really, really wants a peanut! One day, I was talking with my neighbor, and Jasmine saw us. She walked back and forth across the street, imitating our talk with her crow "muttering." Finally, she flew up into a tree and continued her muttering. My neighbor, who hates crows, asked me what was wrong with that bird. I answered, "Oh, that's just Jasmine - she wants a peanut." Then I called out "Hello" to Jasmine, and right on cue, she yelled, "Hello!!" back to me! My neighbor's mouth dropped open! During mating season last year, the crows brought me several "gifts," including a dried-up tree frog, and a paring knife! I really enjoy them, and when I go for a walk, I always have several following me as I walk from one crow "territory" to the next. Friendliest "pets" ever!!
Ron on January 06, 2018:
Great blog on crows.
I have been feeding a couple of crows for a several weeks now.
They know my schedule and know when to visit the backyard, about 10 am., each day.
I feed them peanuts, setting a couple/few on top of a corner deck post and tossing some into a shoveled clearing (10x10) 15 feet from the deck.
One crow has come onto the deck while I'm there; the other waits, watches, and accepts peanuts tossed into the clearing.
Black squirrels visit and get peanuts, too, and sometimes visit at the same time as the crows.
Before the snow arrived in early November, Blue Jays were also on hand for peanuts.
Crows, Jays and squirrels all visiting for food at the same time is challenging.
I'm careful to avoid conflict by using the deck and the clearing as two separate sources, timing the setting or tossing of peanuts so the Crows, Jays and Squirrels get a more or less equal share without having to compete.
Even with the temps dipping to -5 or lower lately, the crows and squirrels are there each day. Not sure where the blue jays have moved on to, but they haven't been around since just after the snow fell.
The crows seem to accept that the squirrels were part of the breakfast club before they were; they don't seem upset waiting for their turn.
Crows do need to feel safe and there are times when peanuts are not scooped from atop the desk post until I walk off the deck or open the door to go back in the house.
A crow is sensitive to people staring at them and relax if you turn your back to them.
The human threat must be in their DNA!
The current setup and somewhat thin layer of trust is fine with me. I just want to see them fed at least once a day (on days off, they might get a mid-afternoon serving of peanuts.
Because my work day begins at Noon, the mid-morning feedings are never missed; they know that is a reliable time and anything after that is "gravy."
Amy on January 02, 2018:
I’ve been feeding the neighborhood crows about twice a week now for 2 months. I have a mixture of shelled peanuts, corn, sunflower seeds and trail mix...stuff I got for parrots. They love it all except the peanuts(can’t figure that one out). They take it all from the ground but won’t touch the stuff in the bird feeder. Still learning their likes and dislikes and love listening to their calls when I’m out feeding.
I thought you might like this story in that you could probably make any animal a “pet”. My grandparents have a small pond near their house in addition to larger ones around the land. But my grandmother would go out and throw leftovers and scraps into the pond to feed the fish. They noticed a big swirl that would come to the surface when she threw the food out. Once she threw a full hotdog bun and something swirled around it and swallowed the whole thing. After that she would yell out “it’s time to eat big boy” and after a month or so the water would start to swirl before she even threw the food out. We watched it enough we were able to see it was a catfish. We stopped fishing in that pond afraid we would catch Big Boy and end our fun.
Roger Savoie on December 30, 2017:
I like to think of myself as an animal conservationist and enjoy feeding crows at home and at work. Mainly shell peanuts but my wife despises it because she calls them rats with wings and food left on the ground will attract real rodents. I've ignored her and she says I don't listen to her or at least that's what I think she said lol.
Lesley Pesnicak on December 14, 2017:
I love crows and have always wanted to be friends. Thanks of all this good information. I’m going to try it. They use to fly in our Guinea fowl house and steal eggs
Jamie Bridger on December 08, 2017:
Really enjoyed your article -- I am also a crow lover, and have a family of crows who come to my house every morning for their breakfast -- their favourite food(s) are bread, nuts, cheese, baloney, chicken, and Doritos chips. Thanks,
Dee on November 29, 2017:
I have a pair of crows who had a young un earlier this year. They come down in the morning when I get up. Its never at the same time so I don't know how they know, they must watch. They like raw bacon fat, dog food, suet, monkey nuts etc. the Female (i know cos she has white bits on her wings) comes really close, but I don't try to get near. I love them. Recently I think the grown up young one has joined them.
Laura on November 04, 2017:
I have a family of resident crows to the driveway most days, who look up at my kitchen window and caw and chatter away so I’ll produce some peanuts. They occasionally leave wee bits of plastic/shiny items on the paved area too. One of the family has a damaged wing, he struggles to fly but opts to hop/walk from the roost every morning, appearing in the field beside my house and bounces towards the peanuts I leave out. I make sure he eats every day. I have named him Wingy of course!. They regularly hide food in the garden too and can be seen collecting it later. Such clever birds but sadly misunderstood as pests mostly. I’ve a bucket next to the house for my dogs to drink from when returning from walks and the crows will bathe in it, you hear the splashing from the kitchen, then afterwards watching them preening and drying off. They also do a really good job of pecking moss off the roof of the house, mostly to get to whatever tasty bit is perhaps hidden underneath, but it keeps the slated roof clear of the moss. Amazing birds!
private on October 22, 2017:
they also love peanut butter on whole grain bread; also french fries.
Jeff on October 08, 2017:
We started feeding 3 ravens five years ago. Now we have a family of 7 ravens (the original 3 plus 4 young). They have been a real pleasure for us since we live in the country and work from home. Almost every morning they caw to tell us their ready for breakfast. Usually it's leftover chicken or meat and lots of stale bread. We have heard some very unusual language from them. Almost alien. Wish o recorded it but never had the chance. One day the adult said "good crow good crow for nearly 30 minutes. That's what I've been saying to my ravens all these years....good crow good crow....
Logan on October 07, 2017:
We noticed one summer two Crows who were hanging around a certain spot near our apartment. Turns out under a tree off the sidewalk was a dead crow (based of its size I'd say it was an adolescent). It was pretty sad realizing that these two were very likely it's parents who were mourning. I named the dead crow Mavis, and we had a proper burial for her.
Based on what I saw she had a cracked collar bone. But what really bothered me was she had no head. To this day I'm convinced that someone in the neighbourhood was killing Crows. Since during that summer we came across about 4 dead Crows.
I love Crows very much. I haven't gotten around to feeding them yet, but they seem interested in following me around. And I always make sure to say Hi to them when I can.
Lee on October 03, 2017:
I have been feeding a murder of crows in my yard for about 2 years.
I feed them dog food from Walmart.
Last week I noticed a large pile of sticks, with no leaves attached left
Near the spot where I put their food in the garden.
I realized my crows left me nesting material!
One or two also follow me when I walk my dogs.
Crow nie on September 21, 2017:
I forgot to add that cheese was also a staple in the foods I put out for the crows.
Crow nie on September 21, 2017:
I also wanted to add that while the fledgling with the broken wing was in my backyard, I noticed an improvement in his condition when I added water packed tuna or salmon in addition to the other foods I was putting out. Other foods I put out included small pieces of steak, chicken, boiled egg yolks, watermelon, blueberries and unsalted peanuts. I tried some other foods but they were left behind, sometimes neatly stacked in a pile.
Crow nie on September 21, 2017:
We had a fledgling with a broken wing in our fenced backyard. We contacted some wildlife rehabbers who told us if it wasn't healed within two weeks it never will. We allowed the fledgling to stay in the backyard and put out food for the parents and they have continued to feed the fledgling. After several months, the wing which had been hanging started to be held closer to his body. Eventually the fledgling did fly out of the backyard over the fence and is improving everyday. I still find him in the neighborhood and take food to the parents. Hopefully he will be able to roost with them at night soon. Occasionally I have seen him on single story roofs and I hope he will be strong enough to go with the family if they leave when the snow comes.
Pam on September 20, 2017:
The ones around my house love the sun flower seed I put out, and that happened by accident. I was feeding other birds when they just started showing up and picking out only the sun flower seed. I feed them a stash of there on now. There very Intelligent birds.
Nice Crow Lady on September 03, 2017:
I have a family of backyard crows. I too felt worried about feeding, but I have observed that they won't become dependent. They have activity (a life) that does not depend on a humans schedule. I don't usually feed yr round except for a couple of stragglers that hang around throughout the winter. I provide watermelon on my balcony during fledging. I would rather that they nest elsewhere, but I'm tolerant. It is stressful too me specially when they stand guard 24/7 as there babies bounce from bush to bush on the ground. Neighborhood cats hang around and makes me nervous for them. When I feed I don't stick around. I only feed when they sit at my kitchen window while I'm cooking or doing the dishes. They like small slices of seeded bread w/ light peanut butter, chicken, boiled eggs (usually will pick out the yolk and leave the rest) and cherries. They see me in the window and roost at the window giving me goo goo eyes. They turn their nose up sometimes and just hang around roosting on the back of the patio chair. They are very teratorial and rarely a war accept in the spring time. I think the demand to keep the brooder fed and the fledging fed is stressful so any food no matter how hard to obtain is sought after by a few unwelcomed families. They dive bomb the intruders just as if they would treat a hawk swooping by. One time I picked up one of their babies that I had felt fell out of the tree too soon and it really caused an uproar. So I just left it alone. It took a week or so before they stopped screaming at me and things returned to normal. They later brought this one to the balcony for watermelon. There is usually 3 to 4 babies in late spring and then sometimes one more baby much later. Around early fall there is just 1 primary close to me and 2-3 others hanging around (lurking and waiting until I shut the door) I don't know where everyone else goes after a summer of high activity, (probably inland to the city dump...its wet on the coast with high winds) but I'm glad to just have 1 or 2 greet me going into the winter. It's quiet and feels as if the vacationing family have left for the summer.
Tec Thomson on August 30, 2017:
I feed a family of 3 crows during my tea and dinner breaks at work. I'v seen the older pair bring up 2 young crows now. The current young one lands on my van door and takes the food from my hand. Bread grapes and peanuts are what I feed them.
Antonio on August 21, 2017:
I have a weekend place in upstate New York where I feed the ravens who live on my property spaghetti once every weekend on Sunday mornings.
What is really incredible is I arrive Friday nights and am active in my yard all day Saturday and they leave me alone on Saturday but on Sunday afternoons after I return home from church they know it is feeding time so they circle me and even land on my shoulders as I walk back to my home to get the spaghetti I prepared the night before.
So they not only recognize me but they know the specific day of the week they will get their treat.
an soegijo on August 20, 2017:
my friends (several territorial couples in the neighbourhood) are european hoodie crows. we have been acquainted for years; the pair whose territory i live in come to my window every day and consent (with due caution) to eat from my hand. they can communicate a preference and, as social birds, can also apparently enjoy hanging out with compatible humans. they raise and educate their children with great care (and strictness) for nearly a whole year, usually. one oldish pair still has their daughter with them after more than 3 years; she was handicapped with crippled feet as a young bird, but that is scarcely noticeable now.
Although cautious, they are extremely quick to return eye contact and under the right circumstances one can establish an initial contact very quickly.
i suppose that these opportunistic birds have been following us for as long as there have been humans, maybe even longer. Most humans have forgotten this, but the crows quite evidently have not.