Attracting crows to your yard does not have to be complicated!
Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of advice that suggests strategies that I find rather silly, such as putting out fake crow decoys, or cumbersome, such as playing crow sounds from an outdoor speaker.
Crows are intelligent and opportunistic birds. If you follow my recommendations below, my guess is that you will be able to attract crows to your yard and bird feeders in no time.
Here are 6 PROVEN ways to attract crows:
#1. Attract crows with THESE foods!
One of the BEST ways to attract crows is to provide their favorite foods. And while crows have an incredibly varied diet, I have found THREE common feeder foods they LOVE the most.
Here they are!
*Nutrition Info: 49% fat, 26% protein, 19% carbohydrates
Peanuts are a great food to provide at your feeding station. Not only do crows love eating them, but they are healthy and provide a significant amount of fat and protein, both of which are important to birds, especially during cold winter months. Make sure to buy roasted, unsalted peanuts, if possible!
You can offer peanuts two ways, either in the shell or already out, as crows like them either way. Many smaller birds cannot open up the peanuts that are still in the shell, so if you particularly want to attract crows and don’t want other birds eating the peanuts, you should definitely buy them this way.
One of my favorite things to watch is when crows try to fit as many peanuts in their mouth as possible! You can try counting the amount in a video I recorded, which you can watch BELOW.
Crows LOVE tearing off chunks of suet from my feeders (see photo BELOW).
Due to their large size, crows can do some SERIOUS damage to a suet cake. If a few of them find a suet cake together, they can almost eat the whole thing in one sitting. I don’t mind the crows eating my suet, but if you want to save it for woodpeckers, then you need to place your suet in a feeder or location that crows can’t access.
Nutrition Information: 5% fat, 9% protein, 74% carbohydrates
Corn is inexpensive to purchase compared to other birdseed types and food. At my local home improvement store, I can typically buy 50 pounds for around $10!
You can buy corn two different ways, either as cracked corn or the whole kernel. In my backyard, I see them eating both types, but they seem to prefer whole-kernel corn.
#2. ONLY use this type of bird feeder!
As you can see above, crows are much larger than your average songbird that visits bird feeders. Because of this fact, most bird feeders are not designed to accommodate a crow. Can you imagine one trying to fit its large body on the perch of a tube feeder?
So, if you want to attract crows, you must have enough room for them. I have found the ONLY type of bird feeder that fits these corvids are tray or platform feeders. True to their name, these feeders are simple and provide a large, open space for birds to feed. They are perfect for crows! You can see the tray feeder that I use below, along with a link to where you can purchase one.
What I like about the Woodlink tray feeder above is that I can hang it from my bird feeding pole, or I can put it on the ground as it has metal legs that extend out of the bottom.
Lastly, crows also have no problem feeding on the ground. In fact, if you don’t want to purchase a tray feeder, you can throw some of their favorite foods directly on the ground. If you go this route, I would use peanuts still in the shell because a little bit of moisture can ruin shelled peanuts and corn.
#3. Put the feeder and food in a safe position.
I recommend placing your bird feeding station as close as possible to shelter and cover. This gives crows a better chance to escape predators and makes them feel safer. The worst place to put a bird feeder is in the middle of a barren, manicured lawn!
For example, below is a bird’s eye view of my yard. As you can see, my feeding station is placed along the woods. It’s also under some branches, making it harder for a hawk to swoop in from above.
#4. Water is a crow’s best friend!
Another great way to get crows to visit your yard is to provide a consistent water source. Crows will not only use it to keep hydrated but also to bathe and stay clean.
The best way to offer water is to buy a bird bath. And when it comes to attracting crows, the best option is a GROUND BIRD BATH. These birds feel most comfortable getting their water on the ground. But crows are adaptable and smart and will readily use just about any bird bath as long as it’s kept full of clean water.
Here is the bird bath I use in my yard for crows:
First, I like that this ground bath is made from recycled poly lumber. This material is incredibly durable. I have owned this product for a few years now, and there has been no fading, splitting, or cracking of the material.
I leave this birdbath in my yard all year round. During the winter, I place a deicer into the water to prevent freezing. Since the water is only 2 inches (5 cm) deep, it freezes extremely fast.
#5. Crows LOVE trees!
The ideal habitat to attract crows includes lots of large trees! If your yard is devoid of trees, you should consider planting some. You might be thinking that it’s going to take a long time for that tree to grow tall enough to appeal to crows. But as they say, the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, and the second-best time is today! 🙂
If you don’t have any trees, I wouldn’t worry too much. The crows that come to my yard LOVE perching on my house. It seems to give them a great vantage point to watch the feeders.
#6. Crows are (supposedly) attracted to SHINY objects.
If you search for information about attracting crows on the internet, you will most likely see someone recommending putting out shiny objects. Supposedly shiny things, like coins or jewelry, are appealing to them. It is said that the light that reflects off makes crows curious, especially young ones.
On the flip side, I’ve also read that other people think that shiny objects scattered around are intimidating to crows and keeps them AWAY!
So, I decided to run a test at my feeding station. I set out a multitude of shiny objects to test whether they would attract crows! Watch the video below to find out my results.
How do you attract crows to your yard?
Please share your favorite tips below!