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How to Attract Crows & Befriend Them (Foolproof Guide)

Crow on a branch of tree

Most people see crows as a wildlife creature that's quite difficult to attract into any garden.


They see them as a distant, remote public preserve.

However, do you also know that you don't need to travel long distances to view the spectacle of wildlife? Maybe you're on this page now because you're wondering how to attract crows in your yard.

It will be best if you keep reading as we discover how to make this a possibility and draw this sophisticated creature into your backyard.

A Closer Look Into The Crows: Get To Know Your Bird

The Corvidae Family

Crows, like magpies and jays, all belong to the highly diverse Corvidae family. Most people often identify them as strident, mid-sized birds, eating almost anything and dominating the birdfeeders. Moreover, members of this family are famous for being clever and adaptable birds.

five black crow birds

The American Crow is among the most common crow species that you can find in various habitats, from wilderness to urban areas.

This crow has an overall black plumage in whatever continent it's coming from, although body sizes and bill shape differ depending on the region. While not the longest-lived bird, the lifespan of a crow can extend to 1-2 decades under ideal conditions. 


Crows are primarily social, with some of their species collaboratively breeding; however, they can also be stealthy and quiet at times.

Many people consider these birds the most intelligent; they have this habit of hiding away from anything that looks suspicious to them.

These crows display self-awareness when in front of a mirror, capable of making tools, and can do even the most complex problem-solving.

Likewise, crows are infamous for their sharp eyes and for being very cautious of human presence.

They recurrently attack smaller birds' nests, but they don't like it when other predators approach theirs since crows could be very territorial, especially during spring. 

Flight Pattern

How a bird flies, its wing stroke speed, and its pattern can help you better recognize a species.

A crow, for instance, has a direct, steady flight with deep wing beats typically in a continuous line or gliding with slight dihedral from altitude to perch or ground.


black crow on top of Grand Canyon, Arizona

Crows can have varying structures; some have short wings and long tails, while others have pretty lengthy, slightly hooked bills and relatively large-sized heads.

They commonly have the same plumages, which makes it challenging to determine age and gender.

Nonetheless, you will least likely mistake crows for other birds except when the all-black species are soaring and tend to look like raptors from a distance.

The only identifier you could have when these species are in flight is their crow-shaped silhouette or uniform black colors.

Feeding Style

What do crows eat and how do they fulfill their dietary needs? Like jays, a crow utilizes its brains, robust bills, and toes to maintain their omnivorous diet.

Crows from the Northwestern region typically exclusively prefer to hunt a specific type of mollusk, which is a larger shelled whelk.

These birds resort to cracking open the shells by dropping them onto the rocks, but they are also well known for eating anything edible that they can find.

It is somewhat customary for crows to employ object or food caching behavior or compulsively collect or hoard small things.

While most corvids are omnivorous, often scavenging at carcasses, including roadkills, some of its species still rely on stored nuts due to their food caching, as earlier stated.

Guide To Attracting Crows In Your Backyard

Group of crows on yard

Any typical suburban environment would seem hostile in a crow's eye, more like a reserved and unwelcoming space. A crow would never find any appeal in places where there are thoroughly mowed lawns, no food, or no resting place at all.

To any bird enthusiast, especially for a beginner, creating a welcoming environment for such creatures would seem like a chore.

Most people won't even try attracting crows. If this is something you'd be interested in doing and would love to know what attracts crows, this section will undoubtedly benefit you.

Here are some tips that we gathered on how to attract crows to your yard:


If you want to know how to attract crows to your yard, the first thing you need to do is to offer them food. Try having some roasted peanuts in the shells and leave a small pile in railings or open spaces, free from dogs, cats, or the typical crow predators.

They are generally omnivorous; therefore, they will be showing a specific preference for crackers, nuts including almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, hard-boiled eggs, and some meat. Crows would also love to feed on insects, berries, cat food, baby cereal, insects, and more.

Consistent Feeding Schedule

Providing a steady supply of quality food they like is only the first step. However, if you seriously want to know how to attract crows to your yard, having a feeding routine in place is also crucial.

Crows might have an insatiable appetite, but they are also well-known for food caching.

Consequently, if you want to master attracting crows, it is best only to put an adequate amount of food at feeders to keep them coming back for more.

Knowing how to attract crows to your yard includes essentially developing a rhythm for your interaction with them. The best way to do that is by having a regular feeding schedule.

Create A Bird Garden In Your Yard

two crows on a garden

I can't imagine any birds who could resist an environment that replicates their natural habitat. It would mean re-creating the surroundings by adding plants, feeders, and birdbaths. Utilize your knowledge of a crow's behavior and how it adapts to its environment to attract them better.

These crows will surely value the availability of nesting sites for hanging out in places they visit.

Try setting up horizontal roosting poles in the absence of fences or tree branches in your yard.

Having a birdbath in place can also work as an artificial breeding spot for these crows. You can strategically place a birdbath around your yard. Besides being a roosting area, this birdbath can even act as a sink for dipping and washing its prey before swallowing it down.

Have An Irresistible Landscape

Provide for these crows their distinct needs by including plants and custom features to your garden that will allow them nesting areas to raise their young. Plan the landscape of your garden carefully, study nearby areas to your home, and find out what plants flourish well there.

Know the fruits, seeds, and nuts that these plants produce; conifers and grasses work well for providing covers, while nut and acorn plants are crow favorites. These plants not only provide food but a nesting spot as well.

Lastly, ensure an excellent place for shelter by planting trees and bushes that these birds can use for nesting, hiding, and breeding.

Fresh And Clean Water Source

Bird Bath in a garden

While we earlier discussed birdbaths as an effective way of giving crows an artificial roosting spot, having one can also attract birds to forage, drink, and bathe.

These crows will always be glad to have a clean, safe water source.

Clean your birdbaths regularly to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for bacteria and to keep attracting the birds.

For those with overly crowded balconies, you can try attaching your birdbaths to a railing so the birds will have enough room and make them feel secure.

Give Them A Sense Of Security

Just like when learning how to attract Cardinals, crows are generally startled by noise, so ensure that you remove random noise sources like wind chimes or loose gates swinging as that will scare them away.

Eliminate reflective surfaces in the area or at least try to conceal them with some plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will attract crows?

The most foolproof way of attracting crows is by providing a steady food source, shelter, protection, and natural nesting and roosting sites. They find sunflower seeds, cracked corn, grains, fruits, any kind of nuts, and birdbaths to be very enticing.

You can also try planting a serviceberry or a Juneberry since these are primarily shrubby. These plants bloom in early spring and can thrive in containers. Crows find these plants as an ideal nesting condition and also as a food source.

Are crows attracted to colors?

Yes, they are. Most birds belonging to the corvid family, including crows, have an aesthetic vision; hence, bright, shiny, and colorful things get the attention of these birds.

Will crows bring you gifts?

Crows have this astounding avian intelligence; therefore, they are the only bird species that offer gifts to humans. These birds can distinguish faces in a crowd; with remarkable cognitive skills, they can learn, remember, and adjust to their environment.

That said, these crows sometimes leave behind objects for people who feed them or anyone who gives them attention. A girl from Seattle had an impressive story of her unforgettable experience of receiving gifts from these crows.

Here's the video of crows giving her gifts.

Final Thoughts

Try to keep calm and gentle when you're trying to attract confident creatures like crows, especially for the first time.

Crows are primarily reserved, so it’s best not to expect a gathering (of crows) to come running to you right away even if you have all their needs

The first few stages of attracting these birds will include appreciating them from a distance, so you can observe how they behave.

Learning more about these intelligent creatures will equip you with the knowledge of luring them into your space effectively.

11 thoughts on “How to Attract Crows & Befriend Them (Foolproof Guide)”

  1. About 6 months ago I started leaving some food out (on my balcony) for the crows who nest across the street from me. On my off days in the morning I will sit out on my balcony and read. I started to notice every Saturday morning while I was out there a crow would sit up on a light post and watch me. So I started talking to him and leaving food out. It has become a routine now lol. He’s gotten more brave around me and caws back at me while I read or talk to him. About 6 weeks ago I found a random earring on my balcony. I didn’t have anything that looked like this gold earring so I just put it aside and thought maybe one of my friends left it. A week later another earring but a sliver drop earring with a pearl attached. Again I don’t own this set so I was like what the heck? 2 weeks went by (snow storm) and in the same spot on my balcony was a little shiny heart bead thing. I asked my daughter if it was hers and she said no. So the only conclusion I’ve come to is I maybe am getting gifts? He comes and sits with me every Saturday day morning (me on the balcony and him on the light post) and I leave food out for him every day.

  2. People don't need to complain about the Crows In there bird feeders.. they are not hurting anything.
    The Crows and also Ravens Are very unique Birds and the most intelligent of all the birds species out there..they can solve problems among other thing they can do

  3. My husband and I have been feeding crows for about 5 years now they eat everything we feed them kibbles and bits dog food and peanuts every day, they come to eat several times a day. When we go for walks they follow us. They make cooing and purring sounds too. I saw a crow leave a toy car tire on our sidewalk once but that is the only gift we have gotten. We love the crows.

  4. I work security at a business campus. Up until recent flooding I would place assorted foods on a corner and sit in my patrol car and watch the fun! Lately I've started tossing out pieces of food, (crackers, nuts, mini cheese wheels, jerky and the like) out my patrol car window. The family I deal with is mom, dad and 3 adolescents. Haven't gotten any gifts except the joy of the interaction.
    In fact, getting ready to go to the store and then work with some new treats. It's gotten very cold here in SW Washington State and snow is in the forecast. Hope to increase their chance at survival this winter.

  5. I've been feeding birds for some 12 years now from a ledge outside my apartment Everything from mourning doves to sparrows to blue Jay's and them my beloved crows. They only come about twice a year but what a scene they cause! 20 or so of them come to eat at one time and I LOVE IT! Last year I was left a beautiful rock and I didnt get how it could have gotten there and I was told that it was a tip from one of the crows maybe because they loved there food. What a laugh I got from that! How I adore them all!

  6. I enjoyed reading this about crows. I used to be visited by one,and we had some good conversations. I miss him. I hope he's doing okay.

  7. I raised 2 infant crows, whose nest had been knocked down by a tree trimmer, in the 1980's. It was so much fun. They were lovable and smart. One, Heckle, had blue eyes. Jackie had brown eyes. Heckle liked watermelon and worms. Jeckle liked meat and worms. I taught them how to bathe in the bathroom. They were remarkable.

  8. I once saw a crow trying to steal a full suet feeder from my backyard. It unhooked the hanging feeder from a tree branch so it fell to the ground. Then the crow hopped to the ground and proceeded to drag the feeder across the grass. (I don’t know where he intended to take it as the woods were quite far away.) Just as I was suppressing my giggles, an immature Coopers swooped over, under the tree limbs and only about 12” directly above the crow. (I could almost hear the Coopers going, “Ha ha ha!” and the crow saying, “Yikes!”. The crow flew away, of course, and the Coopers landed on a shrub across the lawn and stayed for quite awhile. As years went on, the Coopers adopted my backyard as its own space. It would zoom directly over my head and land only 10 feet away just above my head on the tree, give me that condescending, derisive look that hawks have, “Oh, it’s only you, mere human,” and stay perched right there, hunting voles or rabbits. The crows nest eventually blew down from the top of an enormous evergreen, but they were of course always around.

  9. At my former work site, I fed what I assumed was a family of 5 or 6 crows. Two of them, after several months would eat gingerly out of my hand. They would land loudly on the roof of the trailer which housed my office to let me know they were there and hungry. It was magical.

  10. William B Kenner

    I count with one specific crow,,if he crows twice,,I do the same with 2 crow calls,,he bounces around from 1 to.7 in no specific order..and sometimes stops to think,,it is so fun to count calls with this bird,,I recognize his voice,,and some times other ones try,,and some will fly off to tell this bird I am outside calling.thanks!

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