How to Attract Crows to Your Yard & Why They Are Beneficial: A Step-By-Step Guide

Crow on a tree trunk

Last Updated: March 29, 2021

Either for a much-needed feathery company or to avoid food wastage, your yard will need some major upgrades to welcome crows.

So today... 

I will share a word around “what attracts crows.”

I know you might be wondering why I am placing such an emphasis on welcoming a nosy crow in the backyard. But trust me, for a true bird lover, it is a dream come true to see an entire range of birds in the backyard – including crows.

Plus, when you serve a road-kill, they will be the first to show up!

Why Are Crows Worthy Of Your Love?

True bird lovers never discriminate among the type of birds in their yard!

Even if you are not a crow lover, try noticing their activities.

I am sure you will have a soft corner for them developed in your heart. Besides their suspicious feather color, they are adorable creatures. So try to observe them for a while. They will bring a whole lot of life to the yard.

Before I go on and explain how to attract crows, remember the core benefit of welcoming them – yard cleaning!

Hang out in your yard with crows on around, and you will note that they act as scavengers.

They will clean up all the food wastes and dead animals’ residue from the yard. Trust me, the details of this cleaning task are pretty appreciable.

Whether it is because you like crows or because you want them to clean-up any mess, you will need to make some changes in your yard. Now I will share some words on attracting crows to your yard with minimum effort and investment!

How To Attract Crows To Your Backyard? A Step-By-Step Guide

Before you start investing, digging, or reconstructing your yard, it important is to know the basics about attracting crows.

If you ask me for a one-liner solution, my reply would be: leave food waste and trash in open compost, along with dead meat, pet food, or any food item placed outside.

But if you are looking forward to an elaborated version of the answer, below are the points you will need to have in your yard for welcoming crows:

1. Make Your Yard A Safe Haven For Crows

Just like any other living species on earth, crows frequent places where they feel safe. Thus you must start by ensuring that the yard is crow-friendly. Remember that the birds, including crows, will avoid anything that looks like a threat to them.

Therefore you should get rid of massive things like ladders or huge barrels. Also, remove all the elements that produce noise like jingles or wind chimes on the doors near the yard - you may like them but crows are not fond of them.

In the case of pets, make sure they stay far away from the yard you want to gather crows in. There is no way a crow will descent to a yard if pets are hanging around because they will feel threatened even if your pet cat or dog is very docile (crows don’t know that).

Generally, smaller pets like rabbits, gerbils, or hamsters are safe. But if you have predatory pets like cats or dogs, the crows will be on high alert. These pets will scare the crows away as well as contaminate the food and water sources.

A great idea here is to fence the yard space big enough for the cat/dog and leave the rest of the area clear for the crows to come and feed themselves.

Tip: Crows prefer larger and open spaces – the larger the space provided, the more the chances to have crows in your yard.

With smaller spaces, these birds feel trapped and scared. But if you cannot separate the pets’ and crows' area, leave the pet inside when it’s time to feed the birds. Otherwise, supervise the pets all the time when they are outside.

By doing so, you will provide freedom to pets while protecting the crows.

2. Serve Them With A Cozy Roosting Ground

If you are lucky enough to have high trees in your yard, consider yourself halfway through with attracting crows. Trees are the most loved resting posts for crows. They might also settle and nest there.

But if there are no trees in your yard, build a few wooden shelves. Make sure that they are installed at a considerable height against the wall or on the platform. 

The rule is simple: the higher they are, the more welcoming they will be for birds.

Speaking of the crows, the highest spot will offer a comfortable resting or sitting point in your yard. And, you’ll be able to enjoy a better sight of these feathery creatures.

3. Feed Them Nicely

Luckily, unlike other species, crows are not very demanding when it comes to food.

You can feed them this and that – literary everything. Just make sure you always have something in your yard to fill their little tummies. Another rule of success is that you should serve them food daily and at the same time.

Crowds on ground feeding

It is like settling a routine for both of you. According to experts, the ideal time to feed birds is early morning or late in the evening. I would strongly recommend that you get to know everything about feeding birds in the backyard before setting a routine.

Following a pattern will help you gain their trust, plus it will add ease to your life.

It won’t take much time out of your daily life but will surely make you some new friends – crows.

Tip: Crows like to dunk their food in water and soften it before eating. So make sure you provide them with a bowl of fresh and clean water nearby.

4. Draw Them A Nice Bird Bath

Yes, you heard me, right! Just like any other bird, the crows will also need clean water to bathe and drink. Hence comes a birdbath. You can make a lovely cheap birdbath at home or look for the best birdbath backyard. 

If you are short on budget or love to DIY, pick a plastic tub filled with water and place it in a cool place in the open yard. Make sure it is set away from direct sunlight.

Crows descend in summers to take a bath and drink clean cold water.

Whereas in winters, they can hardly find water around, so they once again head to these birdbaths in the back yard to fulfill their needs (use heated baths or birdbath heaters to facilitate them in the winters).

Speaking of the size, crows are attracted to larger birdbaths—especially the baths in darker shades, more protracted, and slightly more profound than a traditional shallow bath.

Crows also love to eat moistened food, so, the birdbath should be big enough to provide space for sitting and eating.

Crow drinking water

5. Make It Attractive

Whether it is a birdbath or a wooden stand for these tiny guests, everything should be eye-catchy. Make sure that the positioning, shape, size, and colors are all perfect. As we speak of the crows, they are more attracted to shiny objects.

That said, getting some shiny stuff is another way of how to attract crows to your yard.

If you get some time to observe the crows, you will find them carrying shiny objects from the garbage and taking it to their nests. Thus you can never go wrong with putting small shiny things in the yard and positioning them with the sunlight to boost their luster.

Add colors and shine! You’ll find a ton of products like these online, and you can even make such bird-eye candy yourself.

6. Lure Them The Right Way

If you still feel that your efforts are incomplete and that you are unable to gather as many birds as you wished for, you can do much more. You can try luring them with fake crow calls. Using a phony crow call is both easy and highly effective if done correctly.

From the common caw-caw to summon other family members to an alarm or alert about a predator, crows have many different calls.

Luckily you can find recorded formats for these crow calls. Just learn how to use fake crow calls to summon crows in the backyard and get ready to welcome bunches at a time!

Some widespread calls include rally calls, attending calls, and distress calls - but you must use those that feel welcoming and positive, to create a positive association for your backyard.

You’re probably wondering: where can I get some decent crow calling devices?

Luckily, you can easily purchase crow calling devices or install crow calling apps from various online resources. You can look for devices that can emit a variety of calls. The options include electronic callers or traditional reed caller that sounds similar to a duck whistle.

Crow callers used by hunters emit loud noises. It creates curiosity for the crows giving them a reason to visit the spot of origin and investigate. The only difference between your and a hunter’s invitation is that you will not harm the bird.

Crows quickly respond to these calls. The ideal times are early morning or late in the evening.

7. Give Them Space

You will need to maintain a safe distance and provide a comfortable personal space for these guests. Avoid going too closer to them. Even though they are commonly found in all forms of habitats, crows are a bit shy of people.

One explanation in this regard is that in much of the population, they are seen as nuisances and pests to keep anyway.

Thus even after years of feeding and friendship, they will still stay slightly aloof and distant.

It can happen probably because of their skittish nature. I believe this is the only reason why they have survived and thrived as a species for so long.

Indeed, they will give you a hard time. Just like those pesky starlings you are still trying to fend off.

They need their own time to decide if to trust you or not. And as most humans see them as a nuisance, their distrust of us is evident. But this is the time to change our mind and perception of these birds.

Crows are wild animals, and we should appreciate their unique charm.

And if you want to have a close-up view, look for the best binoculars to get a closer look at crows from a distance.

Crow on a Tree Branch

FAQ Section

Before I proceed to wind up the discussion, here are a few of the most common questions people ask me about knowing and befriending these birds.

I hope they might also help you take your first step in cementing this unique friendship:

What will attract crows?

Although I have already shared hints to make a deal of friendship with crows, let me summarize it for you again:

  • Food and water are the basic needs of these creatures. Everything, including food waste, trash, pet food, or the food you put outside for any other wild species, will do the trick.
  • You also need to provide a clean water source in the open.
  • Serve them with sufficient personal space that gives them a sense of security.

That’s all you need to make close a deal successfully.

Are crows attracted to colors?

Crows perceive colors differently than humans. They can see through most colors.

However, these birds are attracted to the golden color or any surface that shines. This fact is often used to attract these birds.

Will crows bring you gifts?

Many animals give gifts to prospective mates. But crows are the only ones to give gifts to humans. So if you are feeding the crow and paying attention to them, expect some surprises!

The Last Words

Crows are intelligent and interesting creatures. They have some quirky habits that make them very unique to see in your yard. Additionally, their raucous call is hard to miss. But the lack of melody in their voice is overshadowed by their intelligence and character.

With that said, you have all the essentials in your yard to attract crows and make them stay. 

Trying a combination of these methods can increase the success rate. However, you must be patient and remember to take away all the food at night to avoid rodents.

That’s all from my side, let’s hear from you in the comments section below!

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