How to Attract Crows to Your Yard

A crow will follow a person who feeds it regularly.
A crow will follow a person who feeds it regularly. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The American crow is an intelligent bird found throughout North America. It is a common bird that often travels, roosts and forages in packs. If you can attract one crow, you can usually attract dozens, if not hundreds. If you have a yard with a few trees for them to roost in and a little open land to forage in, you can likely attract crows. Many people consider crows nuisance birds because they can be destructive, pulling up garden crops, ripping open garbage bags and scaring away songbirds.

Things You'll Need

  • Crow or owl decoys
  • Cracked corn
  • Dog food
  • Unsalted peanuts in the shell
  • Compost bin
  • Crow caller

Remove noise makers. Crows tend to fly away at the smallest noise. Decrease the chances of sounds scaring off nearby crows by removing anything that may make noise in the wind. Take down wind chimes or other lawn art with moving parts until you're ready for the crows to move on.

Place a few crow decoys around your yard. Crows gather anywhere other crows are feeding. Play into this group mentality by providing a ready-made group of crows. Another option is placing an owl decoy in the yard. Crows are territorial and if they think a Great Horned Owl is moving in close to challenge them for food, they will descend on your yard to protect their turf.

Scatter cracked corn, dog food or unsalted peanuts in the shell. Crows love to crunch on these items and flock to areas with a steady supply. These things can also attract less desirable species, including cowbirds, starlings or even rats.

Start a compost bin. Crows are known to forage for garbage and other household waste. They use their strong bills to pick at fruits and vegetables. A compost bin offers a steady stream of food products and provides an eco-friendly alternative to a garbage bag, another favorite of the American crow.

Use an electronic crow caller or hand caller, available at local sporting goods stores. Crows come quickly when they hear other crows in need. Practice with your caller to see what sounds are most effective.

Tips & Warnings

  • A crow remembers individuals who feed them often. Offer unsalted peanuts by hand on a regular basis and crows will wait for you. According to Cornell University ornithologist Kevin McGowan, "Not just any person, but you. If you do this often enough, they will follow you down the street to get more, even if you’re in your car."

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