Crows don’t get the same level of affection as some of the songbirds in our gardens, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be one of your favorite garden birds. Crows are highly intelligent and remember people that are kind and offer food to them. If you want to make a friend of a crow, a good start is making sure that you use the right sort of food.
Food that you can feed to crows in your garden include
- Fresh meat
Feeding Crows in your Garden
There is nothing wrong with feeding the crows in your garden if you are careful to provide the best food possible. Also, remember that if you start doing this, you need to stay committed and consistent. These birds are sure to bring their family members if they find a good food source and will remember a lot about you and what you offer. You could end up establishing a good relationship with them.
You want to provide a reliable food source replicating what they would eat in the wild. You should try to enhance their food supply and make life easier for them.
Meat is a good starting point because crows usually have a lot of protein in their diets. You can cut up pieces of meat you aren’t going to use and put them on a bird table. Make sure that you cut it into tiny scraps. They don’t want to tear up carcasses or fight over the same thing. You can also use mealworms for protein as this is a good, accessible little snack.
Eggs are a great idea too. Eggs are full of nutrients and a quick way to get some tasty energy, which is why crows raid so many nests. You can put out raw hen eggs or even hard boil some eggs for a different texture and flavor. In this case, some crows have been seen taking the yolk and leaving the white.
You can also put out fruit and nuts to provide a more balanced diet and different flavors and textures. This is also an excellent way to keep things interesting for these intelligent birds as you can play around with other fruits and how you present them.
What not to Feed Crows in Your Garden.
It is also essential to consider what not to feed crows in your garden. Many food sources are highly accessible and tasty to us but aren’t that good for birds. For example, some people put their leftovers on the bird table without considering all the salt, sugar, and other ingredients involved. So make sure not to feed them the following:
- Food with a high salt content as birds can’t process it properly
- Food with a high sugar content
- Any processed foods or highly seasoned meats
- Food that could become a choking hazard
- Food where you aren’t sure of the ingredients
With this in mind, you must also remember not to feed them bread. Providing bread to birds is still common practice, and you even see it at duck ponds, but it should be discouraged. Bread is full of salt and sugar along with heavy carbohydrates. It isn’t doing the bird any good so stick with food with nutritional value.
How To Feed Crows In Your Garden
If you are going to feed the crows in your garden, make sure to do so in a way that is safe and beneficial to the bird. It is a good idea to set up a large bird table in your garden where they can see what is on the menu. Make it large enough for multiple birds, and remember to clear it at the end of the day. If you don’t, you may attract vermin. The one I use to attract crows is this one from Amazon. It is inexpensive and allows larger birds such as crows access to food.
- Eactive Bird Feeder Crafted from premium cedar. The Rust-Free Tray Lifts Out Easily for Cleaning. Vinyl-Coated Steel Hanging Cable and Rust-Free Hardware.
- Design: Due to the open design of the tray feeder, it is perhaps one of the most versatile feeder styles. Ample space attracts larger birds like Jays and Mourning Doves which otherwise rarely visit other feeder styles. The tray format also enables feeding the widest variety of seed, from the typical sunflower seed to much more atypical feed like dried fruit, in-shell peanuts, and whole corn, allowing birders to attract a wider variety of birds to their yard.
- Multiuse: Wide opening allows for easy filling and less spilling - designed to accommodate various seed mixes including Sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, and peanuts. The design allows extra spacing for large birds and attracts cardinals, Grosbeaks, Titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, Finch, Jays, Juncos, and woodpeckers.
- Material: This feeder is constructed with rust-free hardware including stainless steel screws, powder-coated galvanized steel seed tray, and a vinyl coated steel hanging cable. Removable Fresh Seed tray encourages water drainage and airflow, keeping seed fresh and extending the life of the feeder while also making it easier to clean and maintain.
- Size: 10-inch X 10-inch X 3-inch.
If you are interested in animal behavior and DIY, you could consider doing some food puzzles. These clever birds are brilliant puzzle solvers, and there is footage of their cousin, the Caledonian crow, learning to use a crow-sized vending machine. Test their brains and make them work for some of the treats while providing easy access to the primary sources.
Check out this video to see how intelligent crows are.
What is a Crow’s Favorite Food in the Wild?
Crows in the wild have varied diets. They will take what they can get for sustenance, with a wide variety of nuts, fruit, insects, and more. While they are known to enjoy roadkill where available, they much prefer live prey and eggs. Eggs are an easy meal for a crow if they can raid a nest, and chicks are a good snack. The diet will vary based on the time of year, with birds taking advantage of breeding seasons or harvesting berries or nuts.
They are also very skilled and innovative birds, allowing them to try various foods. Crows will take items they can’t open, like nuts and shellfish, and drop them from a great height over a hard surface. There are stories of crow species worldwide waiting for cars to run things over on crosswalks and collecting their prize when the traffic stops.
Also, don’t forget to ensure they have plenty of water to drink. A regular supply in a birdbath or a nearby pond will help wash down their meals and stay hydrated.
Feeding your local crows can be a rewarding experience. It may take time to learn which foods your crows like best, but that is part of this new relationship’s fun. Please take note of what they go for first and take anything to bury for a later date. Give them options and make it fun. You never know; you might even be one of those lucky people that receive “gifts” from grateful crows for your efforts.
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.