6 PROVEN Ways to Attract Crows to Your Yard! (2024)

Attracting crows to your yard does not have to be complicated!

how to attract crows

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.

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!

PEANUTS:

*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.

Learn about the two LIVE cameras streaming from my backyard!

SUET:

Crows LOVE tearing off chunks of suet from my feeders (see photo BELOW).

foods that crows eat - suet

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.

CORN:

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!

what do crows eat?

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.

bird feeders that crows use

Woodlink 3-in-1 Platform Feeder

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!

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:

JCS Wildlife Poly Lumber Birdbath

best ground bird baths

Compare the prices of this birdbath!

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.

View my YouTube channel HERE.


How do you attract crows to your yard?

Please share your favorite tips below!

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26 Comments

  1. This is wonderful info. I’ve been wanting to make friends with crows for a while as I live in the countryside with lots of crows around. Thank you

  2. Our local “murder” loves popcorn. I’ve always loved crows but seemed to be in the minority, thanks for the article.

  3. We feed them our table scraps. We have a wooden frame on our deck railing with a dish in it where we put their food. You get to know what they like and dislike. Any meat, fat, skin etc. When no leftovers peanuts. I have asked our local butcher for scraps from their scrap bin.

  4. I had a crow come to my feeding area awhile ago. My blue jays hated that crow. They ganged up on the crow and harassed him and chased him off. I felt very sorry for the crow. I hope I can attract more of them and that the blue jays behave.

  5. I once lost an earring and experimented by putting the remaining earring out where I feed the crows just to see if they’d like it. Two hours later the earring had gone!

  6. All I need do is step out of my house, to attract crows. I feed them year round and they are quite tame. We have a 120 pound German Shepherd Dog, and even he doesn’t bother them. As a matter of fact, he will be laying on the back lawn and crows will be within 15 feet of him and they seem to enjoy each others company. He will bark at the gulls though. Here is the Seattle metro area, crows are more common than American Robins. Huge flocks can be seen going to roost in the evening.

  7. Hi Scott, we have many magpies plus crows and ravens in our area. The magpies keep the crows away. As you may know magpies are reported to be one of the few animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror. So I put a metal mirror right under my suet feeder for a year but it was totally ignored. It also may have reduced visits by the magpies to the suet – I definitely had more woodpeckers then than magpies. Now with the mirror gone it is almost all magpies. Enjoy reading your bird stories. Thanks! Amy

  8. I used to talk to crows every day (like a crazy man yelling caw, caw, caw) and feed them food. They also cawed back to me as several came to the yard with one always sitting on a tree watching…As a test, I put out whole peanuts, whole walnuts, mixed unshelled nuts and chunks of meat and cheese. In every single instance, they always took the same thing…Can you guess which item(s)? Try it and see for yourself for the answer. Don (By the way, they would also bury some of the items in the lawn.)

  9. I found a crow’s nest when I was a kid. It was full of shiny things, lol. Hot wheels cars, credit cards, utensils, Mardi Gras beads and doubloons, coins, pop tops, lost jewelry…
    I believe they were spooked by your pile and it’s newness!

  10. I believe it could be a shiny object glinting in the light that may attract a crow. So it is the movement the bird notes, rather than a pile of objects per se.

  11. My grandmother told me the same thing, but I think she assumed crows were attracted to shiny objects, because the one she had brought her all kinds of shiny stuff. Things like gold jewelry, coins, and she said mostly foil. Lol

  12. Hi. I’m a wildlife rehabber in MN and I love crows. I wanted to explain why you didn’t get your shiny objects test results. Crows are very nervous around anything new. Even if you put down new food or a really great feeder with their favorite food in it, they will avoid it. They have to be familiar with it before they come near. So to test the theory of shiny objects, you would need to have objects that they are used to first. From experience with the crows that I’ve raised, I will say that my crows have been just as excited to play with a maple seed as they were a shiny pebble that they were familiar with, as long as I was playing the game with them.

  13. Perhaps the idea of crows liking shiny objects came from a book. I remember reading it when I was a child but can’t remember the name of it. The crow in it was quite the rascal.

  14. I made a couple of tray feeders by taking the plastic cooking pan toys I had when I was small and sticking them high on the the fence’s wooden mesh at the top. These sturdy pans can stand a crow’s weight. I’m going to put out pumpkin seeds mixed with peanuts and wild bird mix.

  15. Thank you for sifting through all that footage for us! I’m kind of surprised too, but glad to hear the results! I love crows and am going to make sure I always have lots of peanuts for them!

    1. I agree, but I have noticed that is only true up to a particular size lawn and when there are large trees (particularly evergreens) or forests nearby for easy cover.

  16. Our 2 crows come for feeding every morning and late afternoon. They even call us if we don’t notice them. They like peanuts, bread,and cat food, but their favourite by far is bologna and wieners. They love being around us, even when not being fed, and at times will spend hours with us if we are outside for extended periods. They have totally different personalities, and they have trained us,as much as we’ve trained them. We look forward to them greeting us every morning!

  17. One spring we had a crow build a nest in a tree close to the house. Very fascinating to watch the process their babies etc. One day one of the babies was on our deck so my 12 year old son thought he would do good and put the young bird into a shrub. From that day forward everytime my son went outside the parent crows dive bombed him. They didn’t bother the rest of our family. Haha.

  18. We used to have a trio of crows that visited us several times a week, they loved pizza crust and would dip them in the bird bath, one day he showed up with a dried dish sponge and dipped it in the bath, it was funny and smart, he must of thought it was hard bread?

  19. My uncle had tons of fun with crows. However, he left LIGHT-WEIGHT shiny objects in various, widely separated places – e.g., shiny gum wrappers, small bangles, etc. He tucked them into notched in trees, atop fence posts, etc. They even took them out of his hand – as well as food, which he left for them daily. I loved visiting him as a kid to see how the crows behaved with him.