How to Make Friends With Crows

Updated on February 10, 2019
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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 and fought 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.

Source

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 by feeding it, you encourage an unnatural dependence. And with 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, who wrote In the Company of Crows and Ravens, point to many instances of cultural coevolution between us. It's been an arguably symbiotic relationship for quite awhile now.

Certainly, after all this time together, humans' and crows' lives and histories have become closely intertwined. I moved to this neighborhood in this small city 15 years ago. I'm relatively new here, but since crows have territories they pass on to their children, the crows in my neighborhood may have descended from birds who lived here more than a hundred years ago. 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

  1. Find some food that the crow seems to like. This requires some trial and error, as they can —or maybe it's just the urban ones who can—be surprisingly finicky. You'll know the crow likes it judging by how quickly it swoops down to grab it. If that pile of leftovers sits all day, they just aren't interested, so try something else, only make sure it's healthy. Crows like junk food, but giving it to them is probably not a kind thing to do. (For more food options, Aves Noir has a nice list of things crows do and don't like.)
  2. Stock that food. Buy enough so you don't run out. I buy huge bags of unsalted peanuts from Costco. If you have any menu suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.
  3. Establish a regular feeding schedule, so they know when to expect you and vice versa. If you don't establish a rhythm for interaction, the relationship may never gel. And don't feed them so much that they become dependent—just a handful of something to show you care.
  4. Be dependable, steadfast, and observant. Don't just throw the food out there and walk away. Stay (at a safe distance) to watch them eat (or select 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. (FYI usually, a mated pair 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 take a new territory. This is what a "normal" family looks like, but I've heard stories about multiple generations sharing a turf.) (Please describe your neighborhood's crow family in the comments!) 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.
  5. 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, and 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 neighborhood (American) crow: Although this one appears to be showing off its lovely profile, this is actually how they observe you: Out of one eye.
My neighborhood (American) crow: Although this one appears to be showing off its lovely profile, this is actually how they observe you: Out of one eye. | Source

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, road kill, 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 about what they eat, perhaps because they have access to many sources of food and can afford to be picky. I imagine that the diets of country crows differs vastly from that of their city-dwelling cousins. I've tried getting them 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) and 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. 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 that you give it to them.

Why Don't the Crows Trust Me?

One day, a man was walking by while I was feeding the crows. He was excited by the idea and wanted to try, so I gave him a handful peanuts. He walked under the telephone wire they were sitting on and held up his hand. The crows just eyeballed him.

"They're not going to come to you," I told him. "You have to throw the peanuts into the street."

So he tossed 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?" he wanted to know, and when 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, he lost interest and continued on down the street.

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 thrived as a species for so long. Remember, crows are wild animals. 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, get real, most humans view crows as ominous, murderous evils (or at best, rats with wings). For centuries, they have played the bad guys in the stories humans tell themselves, and 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 stories 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.

Experts can identify many different calls, but even an amateur like me can begin to recognize certain sounds:

  • When the crow on lookout sees the food you've offered, she'll summon her family members with a caw, caw, caw.
  • To me, the "come eat!" call sounds a lot like the scolding noise 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.
  • 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.)
  • If you're lucky and they like you, they might mutter at you from above.

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 the 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)

(The video above is one I took when I discovered a huge flock of crows outside my house one day.)

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 here and there 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 up to 40,000 crows may roost in one spot, another says that a roost may be a few hundred to two million.)

The only time crows build individual nests in their territory is during spring, when they 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 they're 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?

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 or 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.

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?

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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

  • 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?

    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!

  • I have seen some ravens in my backyard, and I’m willing to make friends. How do I do this?

    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!

  • When you give crows peanuts, do you take the peanuts out of the husk?

    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.

  • Do crows mimick?

    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.

  • 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?

    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.

© 2014 Joanna Fonté

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    • profile image

      Nicole sheppars 

      5 weeks ago

      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"

    • profile image

      Jenny 

      3 months ago

      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.

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      Jessie 

      4 months ago

      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?

    • profile image

      TheCrowsBar 

      4 months ago

      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.

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      Marge 

      4 months ago

      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.

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      Sophie 

      5 months ago

      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!

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      Lanie 

      5 months ago

      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.

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      helenaberlin 

      6 months ago

      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 ..

    • profile image

      Voula 

      6 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      Blue 

      6 months ago

      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

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      MayaAn 

      6 months ago

      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.

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      C. Scout 

      7 months ago

      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...

    • profile image

      Natalia 

      7 months ago

      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

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      Chantal 

      7 months ago

      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! ☺

    • profile image

      ConnorCrows 

      7 months ago

      I love the sound of crows and watching them is very awesome

    • profile image

      Adam Kemp 

      8 months ago

      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.

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      Helena walsh 

      8 months ago

      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 .

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      Reg 

      9 months ago

      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.

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      Tweek 

      9 months ago

      They like steak fat and freeze dried buggies

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      Michael 

      9 months ago

      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.

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      Reg 

      9 months ago

      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

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      callmeGAZZA 

      12 months ago

      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.

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      cris 

      12 months ago

      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

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      Neeta Bhardwaj 

      12 months ago

      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.

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      Peter Heisler 

      13 months ago

      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 profile image

      Ellison Hartley 

      13 months ago from Maryland, USA

      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 profile image

      Sherri Moore 

      14 months ago

      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!

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      Jasmine 

      15 months ago

      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

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      Leonard E. Klein 

      15 months ago

      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?

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      Ruth Coffee 

      17 months ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      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.

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      rAREearthsDavid 

      17 months ago

      I’m going to try and use popcorn, dry food or peppers and see what happens

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      MsBeachkitty 

      19 months ago

      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!

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      LilithM1 

      19 months ago

      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!

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      kylee 

      19 months ago

      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.

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      Gordon 

      19 months ago

      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

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      Joanie 

      19 months ago

      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!

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      MaryT. 

      20 months ago

      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.

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      Crowbro 

      20 months ago

      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.

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      Lee Aumend 

      20 months ago

      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.

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      Melissa 

      21 months ago

      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

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      Anitra 

      21 months ago

      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.

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      Robbie 

      21 months ago

      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!

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      Tami 

      21 months ago

      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

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      Robin 

      21 months ago

      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.

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      LINDA BROWN 

      22 months ago

      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.

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      Judy 

      22 months ago

      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!!

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      Ron 

      22 months ago

      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."

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      Amy 

      22 months ago

      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.

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      Roger Savoie 

      22 months ago

      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.

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      Lesley Pesnicak 

      23 months ago

      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

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      Jamie Bridger 

      23 months ago

      Hi Joanna:

      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,

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      Dee 

      23 months ago

      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.

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      Laura 

      2 years ago

      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!

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      private 

      2 years ago

      they also love peanut butter on whole grain bread; also french fries.

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      Jeff 

      2 years ago

      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....

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      Logan 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Lee 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Crow nie 

      2 years ago

      I forgot to add that cheese was also a staple in the foods I put out for the crows.

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      Crow nie 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Crow nie 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Pam 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Nice Crow Lady 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Tec Thomson 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Antonio 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      an soegijo 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      Graham and Karen walls 

      2 years ago

      We have been feeding them for years on digestive biscuits,as soon as we open the tin they are there. We are both chefs and at our work,at a wooded area we give them left over quiche,sausage rolls and dumplings and they are at our house when we finish work. They have names,Russell and sheryl crow,vocal( as he makes unusual un crow noises) grandpa ,splodge and hook. Wonderful wee characters and they always bring their new family every season

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      Bill 

      2 years ago

      They love Kimbles and Bits dog food. Puppy variety is best. Spread it on the ground or in a feeder. I find they are not too interested in produce. They love a chicken carcus broken into manageable pieces. Scrap KFC is a winner and they love cheese.

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      Papa kachallas 

      2 years ago

      The other day, I walked past a group of crows, and they flew up and waddled up right to my foot, pecked it, looked up at me, then screeched at me by making their hilarious noise which most people speak it in English, the 'car'!

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      Penny 

      2 years ago

      We just moved to this area. I never saw crows where we lived before. I was several blocks from my new house when I spotted some crows. I rolled down my window and craziely told them to stop by my house for a treat. I swear that when I got home there were 2 crows sitting high on the tree at the back of our property. I've been feeding them for several weeks. They are so interesting and beautiful.

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      Amy 

      2 years ago

      Hi!

      That's a really cool story, it made my day

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      Mike Jenkins 

      2 years ago

      We had a crow who seemed like she was approaching us for a long time. Once she was in a tree top a couple of houses away, and I decided to see if she's come if offered a cracker. She did. I tossed it on the ground and she took it. Over time she would come and take cheese off our front porch railing left there for her. Finally one day, she took it out of my hand. Something about the way the crow acted made me think it was a female. I named her Nancy.

      Nancy had a mate, who acted more like a standoffish, ornery crow. But he was curious and wanted to get in on the food trick, too. He was much less interested in eating out of my hand, but that's what I wanted them to do. It prevented it from becoming too big a thing and attracting too many crows, and leaving food out would attract other feral critters we didn't want. I named Nancy's mate Fagin.

      One day Fagin showed up on our roof as we were working in the back yard. I tossed him a stale hamburger bun. He wasn't enthusiastic about it, but I looked up sometime later and he and the bun were gone. I ran a couple of errands, and returned after about an hour and parked out front. I was removing a piece of equipment from the trunk, when something went plop at my feet. It was the hamburger bun. I looked up, there was Fagin sitting on top of the telephone pole I was parked under. The bun was intact. Fagin made his point, I got him some cheese.

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      Stevie 

      2 years ago

      That post by Debbie Dube touched me deeply. Such a sweet and sad story. But I have to say I was very irritated by the commenter that said she "gave her crow cancer". You can't "give" anyone cancer, as if it's some communicable disease. You could cause an animal or bird to develop cancer if you exposed them to toxic chemicals or radiation, but it's a moot point, because the lady clearly said the vet DX'd the crow's illness as avian pox, which has no similarity to cancer at all, being a communicable disease. Whoever made that comment, I would advise to read things through before making ignorant statements. There's an old saying: "Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt."

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      Michelle 

      2 years ago

      They LOVE dry cat food!

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      Marcia P 

      2 years ago

      Aileen, follow this link for several variation on the counting rhyme

      http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/boardarchives/2...

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      Rose 

      2 years ago

      I have been putting out unsalted peanuts very erratically for a year and a half. I do the same whistle when I throw the nuts in my field behind the house. I am pleased to know that I probably have a great relationship with them I didn't even know! I thought they would be more interactive. I always speak to them when they fly over when I am mowing or out with my horses. I also hear them cawing from the nearby tree and I will go out and give peanuts if I hear them.

      On thing I think is interesting is that they will stay in the old dead tree when I scatter nuts. But when I walk away they will quietly leave. I think they worry others not in their family will see and they don't want to share! Then they come back an hour or so later.

      They will when I whistle to let them know I am throwing peanuts they will fly directly over my head and I swear they are saying thanks!

      Only one time in the winter one swooped and did a cool sideways flight maneuver and I know it was for me.

      Thanks for the article! I will keep up my relationship especially now since I see that is the way they are. Loved the book Gifts of the Crow. You have to read it if you haven't.

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      Keri Knuthson 

      2 years ago

      When I lived in Los Angeles there was a community of crows that lived in my neighborhood. They appeared to be all related and would ban together to chase strange birds out of the area. They used to come down and eat the dog food in my backyard and the dogs would chase them, so I started throwing some out front for them to eat undisturbed. One day as I was driving home, I saw a boy getting dive-bombed by the crows and he was holding up a plastic tub over his head so they wouldn't get him. I asked him what was going on and he said that there was a baby crow that landed in the neighbor's yard and he was trying to get it out of there because there was a dog in the yard. As soon as I got out of my car, the crows stopped attacking him and watched me. I went over to the neighbors and looked in their fence. Sure enough there was a fledgling crow in the middle of the grass not moving. The dog was watching it from the patio. I went inside my house and got a towel and went back across the street. All the while I was a little worried they would attack me too, but they weren't even cawing, they were just watching. I picked the baby up in a towel and inspected him. He seems okay so I placed him up in the ivy on the retaining wall in a safe space and left him. The crows came down and checked him out after I walked away. They ended up feeding him from there until he was old enough to fly.

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      Mike and Sally 

      2 years ago

      We were driving in NW Calgary, AB and a crow with a broken wing bounced across a four lane road and up to a campus lawn. We got out and with very little effort walked up to it and gently covered it with a jacket leaving jus its head out. The crow did not appeared to be fearful and gave us the impression it new we were helping it. We took the friendly featured fried to a bird rescue facility north of the city and they were glad to help and said they would pin its wing and that it stood a good chance of recovery. We took some photos before turning him over sitting on our laps without the jacket and that bird was extremely calm and relaxed. They are ve ry inteligent birds.

      Watched a British documentry on crows as they followed a family for years in a large city and how they taught their young. They would pick up spiky covered walnuts fly up to a street light drop them on the street wait for the cars to drive over them and crack them open and on the red light fly down and get dinner.

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      Ken Grizzle 

      2 years ago

      My niece had a crow that she raised and it could say a few words very plainly. It used to play games with a stick and the dog.

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      Crow Swimsaway 

      2 years ago

      Good Fun! Thanks for the interesting and useful ideas.

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      evad 

      2 years ago

      I have been friends with a pair for years now . I hadn't been home for nine months. I returned home for a visit. Before my plane had landed the crows were in the backyard making a huge racket. Just sitting on the t.v. wire cawing at the door. When my wife picked me up at the airport she said "oh by the way your crows know your coming home". They were waiting for me when I got home.

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      Rockin Robin 

      2 years ago

      First off, I'm glad you've discovered the awesome relationship we can develop with wildlife.

      But, given what you wrote about people trying to run them over, why are you throwing their food into the road? Seems counterintuitive...

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      Valerie richmond 

      2 years ago

      I used to feed 2 crows at 7am daily. My former apartment had patio doors off the bedroom and living rooms, and they were always open, even in winter. I was not feeling well one morning and slept in. At 7:30 am, they both appeared at my bedroom door, cawing to waker me up!

      A few years later, I moved about 10 blocks away and shortly afterwards 2 crows started visiting me on my balcony. Wonder if they are the same ones?

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      Rebecca 

      2 years ago

      I lived for several years in Arctic Alaska where all birds leave for the winter. Except ravens. The birds left not because of the cold but for lack of food. Ravens apparently were both strong enough and smart enough to feed themselves until the sun returned. In one location, where I had to walk to work, a raven and I would be the only visible living creatures on the road. So I talked to the raven. The Raven gave every appearance of listening and often answered. We kept each other company.

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      Monique 

      2 years ago

      Just today I was sitting at my desk and heard the crows cawing for about 3 minutes straight. Unusual. I looked out the window and what did I see but a bobcat sauntering across my driveway.

      Thank you crows for alerting me to that beautiful sighting.

      I've lived in my current mountain location for a year now and have appreciated the crows from afar, but never realized I could befriend them. A few weeks ago I noticed that the bread that I tossed into the open compost pit outside disappeared pretty quickly. I put two and two together and now I get extra bread just for them and toss some pieces out to them regularly.

      I like to think that they knew I was hoping for a bobcat or mountain lion sighting and alerted me to it.

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      Jennifer 

      2 years ago

      I have made friends with one crow. He came last summer every day at 5:30pm and sat on a tree and just sat there. When I started noticing him there, I started talking to him. "Hi, What are you doing?" I made a point to go out every evening at 5:30 just to talk to him. He always came to visit me. When it got cold and winter came I stopped going out to see him. But now its June and he has come back. Or maybe he never went away... I have never fed him but I think he likes me just the same.

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      Bev 

      2 years ago

      I've had crows steal pork chops waiting to be grilled... I ran in the house to get something for a minute and came out to see a crow on top of the garage with his prize.. lol Who knew... ?

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      Selena 

      2 years ago

      I live in Seattle and my husband and I have been friends with the neighborhood crows for years. We feed them every morning before work. We leave them food on the front porch hand rail and they fly up from the power line as soon as we are walking down the steps. Our neighbor even started feeding them. We leave them nuts, popcorn, pizza crusts and they LOVE fries. Sometimes we hear them calling outside for treats. They are delightful. We call them Jasper and Juanita.

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      Danielle 

      2 years ago

      I would never use peanuts as that is one of the big nonos in the bird world ask any avian vet/nutritionist. Peanuts are a major risk for carrying Aflatoxins, fungus (aspergillus being most common and largest cause of bird deaths from fungus). I would prefer not having folks killing them with kindness.

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      Kate MacPherson 

      2 years ago

      I live at the coast. Am in the Pacific Flyway, consequently loads of all kinds of birds. My favorites, though, are a pair of ravens. They have lived in the vicinity for a few years and are here every morning for food. I give them high quality seeded bread, four slices. "Mama" jumps in the air when she sees the bread coming. She waits until she is certain no other birds take the bread. Then she takes a piece and rolls it into a tight roll. Then she takes another piece and flies off to a very tall tree. I feel that she has a nest there. Her mate, smaller than she, takes the other two pieces. Mama sits on the railing in the early morning cawing until she sees me in the bedroom window. She is my alarm clock. She watches me through the window.

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      Dave B. 

      2 years ago

      Walmart has squirrel & crow food that the crows like. It has sunflower seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds & especially... pistachios. Crows LOVE pistachios.

      I tried feeding them every day at exactly noon, it failed. Crows can't tell time. Be patient & the crows will eventually start to trust you & come closer. They don't like to be watched. If you turn your back the crows will come closer, if you look at them they'll act nervous. If you feed them & stop for a while they'll get discouraged pretty easily & stop coming around. It doesn't matter what clothes you wear, they recognize your face. If you've seen one crow you've literally seen every crow, you can't even tell their genders apart, but somehow they've got the ability to recognize humans. I've been told it does help to talk to them because they can recognize our voices although I can't confirm that, I do it anyway.

      While they're slightly different, ravens appear in almost every religion.

      If you see a large group of crows those are young crows, like teenagers. Scientists think they stick together to learn from each other. At sundown you can see large groups of crows flying to the west.

      I've heard of people getting gifts from crows that's never happened to me.

      That's a great story Debbie Dube.

      Keeping a crow as an actual pet is illegal in the USA. Splitting their tongue is not only unnecessary but cruel.

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      Pam 

      2 years ago

      For a while last summer I fed my neighbors peanuts in the shell. Then winter came and they moved off to their winter roost. Although they have come back this summer, they haven't eaten the peanuts. I stopped putting them out because those pesky chipmunks would eat them. Once, before I started feeding, when I was walking to my car, a crow sat on top of the trash can tapping the lid. I was very close to it and it just kept tapping away in a kind of rhythmic pattern. I wonder if it was telling me to start putting out a treat now and then.

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      Paula 

      2 years ago

      I have been feeding a family of crows for at least seven years, first thing in the morning. They recognize me and starting calling as soon as I walk out the door to feed them. And the few times that I have been later than usual, they let me know! Chicken, dog kibble, nuts, fruits, cereal are mainstays. They are calling to me as I write this!

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      jeanette 

      2 years ago

      About 30 year ago I lived in Alberta Canada. As part of my job I was speaking to a woman on the phone and could hear weird sounding voices. She explained they were pet crows who lived in her house. She explained that when their tongue's are split lengthwise they are able to talk. They do not "parrot" words but have real but limited conversations. Not sure if this was/is illegal but it should add some depth to our interaction with them.

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      Donna 

      2 years ago

      Recently I saw two crows loudly cawing at each other while they flew from tree to tree. It sounded like a loud argument.

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      bob 

      2 years ago

      Christ, you're an idiot. Crows kill and eat every type of bird that is smaller than them, their fledglings, and their eggs.

      They're worse than cats for the number of birds they kill - read a book - look at nature - what a dummy.

      if you're into crows, great, but I'm for killing every mother one of them so that other birds can multiply and not decline because of your "wee friends". Jesus.

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      Gina Bergeron 

      2 years ago

      Crows are my spirit animal. Everywhere I go they are there. I absolutely love them. This article was a great read.

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      Deidra Smith 

      2 years ago

      Cornbread. They LOVE homemade cornbread. No sugar.

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      PositivelySue 

      2 years ago

      First the positive experience: when we were moving in to our new home back in November, a crow flew overhead and dropped a walnut on our front porch - a housewarming present? Or were we supposed to crack it open? In any case, I was honored and still have the walnut.

      Now the not so positive: the peanuts may be a bad idea for the humans in the neighborhood. One of our neighbors posted on NextDoor that his daughter suddenly had a severe allergic reaction, and they couldn't figure out why...then they discovered that their across-the-fence neighbor was putting out peanuts for the crows, and the crows were very kindly dropping the shells in the yard. Not good for kids or adults who might suddenly stop breathing because of the allergy. It's very sad.

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      Leslie Demich 

      2 years ago

      Several years ago, I started putting peanuts out for my crows. But I found I was not only feeding the crows, I was also feeding the starlings, and, by golly, the field rodents. So I worked with the crows for awhile to help them understand that I would not put food out for them unless they are fully present to take it ALL. Also, I shifted food to a very high quality organic dry dog food that has big enough nuggets that the starlings can't eat them. The crows love them. Nowadays, they come to the railing of my deck and announce that they are present with a nice loud CAW! Just one CAW! I put out enough food for them to grab in one visit. If they want more, they have to ask for more. We have also arrived at agreement that that one junco and that one towhee can each have one nugget, but that's it.

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      Kathy fraser 

      2 years ago

      Just this past week the crows who are mostly in my tall old Oak tree have begun bringing their food- mostly bread & piazza crusts. Into my birdbath! Then flying away w it. Funny.

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