How to Befriend a Crow? (Step-By-Step Guide)

Child befriending a crow

If you’re new to the world of birds, you may have questions about how to befriend a crow. After all, it can be hard to figure out how to approach this winged animal and what to do once you get close enough to make contact.

However, it’s worth noting that befriending crows is not as difficult as most people think. In fact, many have successfully befriended these birds over the years and have even been able to teach them some basic tricks.

Luckily, this step-by-step guide on how to make friends with crows is here for your comfort. You’ll learn how easy it is to socialize with these infamous critters as well as what motivates them when interacting with humans.

Why Do You Need to Befriend Crows?

Man petting a crow

If you have a strong interest in crows, the best way to find out more about them is by befriending them.

While crows are not allowed to be kept as pets in the United States, they have a lot to offer. For one, they’re intelligent and have a wide range of interesting behaviors, which can be fun to observe.

Additionally, crows are known for their ability to recognize recursive patterns in their surroundings and use them for their own benefit. They can even imitate human speech and are adept at remembering faces.

Moreover, these dark-colored birds often nest in open areas where there are many people around, which has led many to believe that they can understand human behavior better than other rare species.

If that’s not interesting enough, a crow is well-known for its habit of cleaning carcasses and garbage, too. This makes it an important flying creature that should not be overlooked.

Can Crows Be Tamed?

Yes, crows can be tamed, but it’s not generally recommended. It should be noted that they’re still wild animals and should be handled only by avian experts who know how to do this safely.

However, if you’re interested in learning how to tame a crow, the following are some vital things to bear in mind:

  • A crow cannot be owned. Since crows are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA), note that it’s illegal to own one. Therefore, even after you have tamed a certain crow and successfully taught them basic commands, they will not be yours to keep.
  • Most crows are partially migratory birds. While not all crows migrate, as those in the southern parts of the United States tend to be inhabitants, most will leave their nesting area for food or breeding purposes at some point during the year. This means you have less time to tame a crow than you would like.
  • It takes plenty of effort, time, and patience to befriend crows. Like other wildlife creatures, it will take a lot of resources to earn the trust of a crow. Further, you have to be patient and understanding throughout this process. You’ll also have to be wary since crows tend to be aggressive toward others that they perceive as threats.

On the whole, taming crows should not be attempted by the average person. Always keep in mind that these birds are unsuitable for petting or other forms of close interaction with humans.

How to Befriend Crows

For anyone who is really sure about establishing a relationship with crows, it’s worth mentioning that there are several measures that can be taken. Yet, make sure that you follow those actions with vigilance.

Without further ado, if you want to know how to befriend crows, the following are some steps you can take:

1. See what types of food crows appear to favor the most

A crow with food on its beak

As with any other animal, the best way to befriend crows is by giving them what they crave. Since these birds are omnivorous, they will eat almost anything — though they tend to prefer dead animals, insects, and nuts.

Still, note that bird pellets sold at pet stores should also be suitable for use as treats for crows. Further, you can try feeding them mealworms or crickets if you live in an area where plenty of these creatures can be found.

Meanwhile, if you have access to other types of food that you’re willing to give away, such as fruits and vegetables, feel free to do so. Just test which ones seem to appeal most to your local crow population.

2. Find a quiet and open area where you can safely feed the crows

A crow feeding while perched on the fence

To successfully attract crows, you need to locate a spacious, quiet, and safe area where they can come to eat. This is usually an open field or park with lots of trees nearby.

Moreover, be sure that your chosen place is free of people, dogs, cats, and other predators. You wouldn’t want your prospective bird friends to have any reason not to come around often.

3. Place food and water in the area

Crow with food and water near it

Now that you have the place and the food, it’s time to start befriending the crows. You can do this by placing food and water in the area and watching a murder of crows flock over.

If you are feeding them pellets, throw several pieces of food at a time so they all get their share. Doing this will help them realize that there’s enough for everyone, which will make them feel more comfortable around you.

Watch this video to learn the best way to feed crows safely:

Feeding Hundreds of Crows for $4

4. Feed the crows on a consistent schedule

Crow feeding on a leaf

For the crows to remember where they get their food from and when it’s time for them to come back again, it’s very crucial that you feed them on a consistent schedule.

I tried this myself as I purposely fed the crows near my cousin’s place. I started by feeding them 2 to 4 times a week. I also tried to be consistent in doing this in the morning, specifically every 8 a.m.

When they got used to this routine, I gradually increased their intake until I saw them coming to the feeding area at the same time every single day.

What made it more interesting was that during the first few days, there were just about 3 to 5 crows approaching my feeding area. After about a couple of weeks, the number grew to about 10 to 15 birds!

5. Devote time and effort

Crow drinking from a stainless pot

Of course, the key to befriending crows is to devote time and effort.

You need to be willing to spend a moment with these birds, which will allow you to learn more about what they do, how they live, and why they are so fascinating.

Bear in mind that nothing can replace this experience — it’s the only way you will ever be able to truly bond with these inquisitive flying creatures.

6. Be patient, and give the crows time to adjust

Crow being fed by a human

If you find that the crows in your area have not yet responded to your overtures of friendship, wait a few weeks to see if they change their minds. Just keep on feeding them, and eventually, they will take notice.

7. The crows must be kept at a distance

Child feeding a crow from a distance

Given the fact that crows are categorized as wild animals, it’s imperative that you keep your distance from them. They may look friendly, but they can be very dangerous when they feel threatened.

With my knowledge of crows attacking humans and other animals, I have always been careful during my feeding sessions with them. I have kept a good distance of about 2 to 3 meters from where I lay down their food.

I never attempted to approach them directly, feed them by hand, or pet them. I made it a point that I would only draw near them if they initiated being close to me. This has kept me safe from harm while dealing with these birds.

‎What Do Crows Eat?

It’s a fact that crows are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and meat foods. To put it simply, they will consume anything from berries to nuts and fish to baby birds, and they are opportunistic hunters.

However, it should be highlighted that insects are part of their diet too. For instance, they have been observed to eat spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles — any bug that can fit in their beaks.

Yet, do not be surprised if you see them scavenging on the carcass of a dead animal or bird, as they have been known to do so. They may even devour garbage if it’s available around them.

How to Get Crows to Trust Me?

Befriending crow through feeding

An excellent way to get crows to trust you is by providing them with a source of food. Doing so will make them more likely to approach you and allow you to bond with them.

You also have to appear dependable and trustworthy. Hence, you should be friendly, respectful, and compassionate toward the crows — no matter how they behave around you at first.

On top of that, patience is key. Remember that these are wild animals that have learned over time not to trust humans. It might therefore take some time for them to warm up to your presence but don’t give up hope.

Can I Keep a Crow as a Pet?

No, keeping a crow as a pet is deemed illegal in many areas of the United States. As a matter of fact, there is a law that prohibits this practice: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

The MBTA says that they ban “the take (including killing, capturing, selling, trading, and transport) of protected migratory bird species without proper authorization by the Department of Interior U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.”

With this point in mind, it would be wise to just befriend these birds and watch them from afar. Ultimately, bear in mind that they are still wild animals that would be better off in nature than in captivity.

Befriending Crows: Pros and Cons

Crow looking at the palms of someone

As is with any kind of friendship, there are pros and cons to be found in the world of crow interactions.

To begin, the following are the benefits of befriending crows:

  • Crow friendship is fun: It’s certain that having a crow as a friend will make your life more interesting than before. You’ll get to find out their notable demeanors, allowing you to appreciate them more deeply.
  • Crows can be taught to perform complex tasks: Interestingly enough, crows are intelligent, social birds that can quickly learn tricks and skills.
  • A crow can help keep your yard clean: If you have a garden, a crow can help keep it free of pests and other small animals that might be harmful to your plants.

Meanwhile, below are some drawbacks of crow friendship:

  • You’ll have to invest in different types of food: When befriending crows, remember that you will have to set aside funds for special foods that they enjoy.
  • Befriending crows takes time: You can’t just befriend a crow and expect instant results. Thus, you’ll need to be prepared for the time commitment that comes with crow friendship.
  • You cannot bring home a crow: Unfortunately, it’s unlawful to take a crow into your home. Hence, admiring them from afar may be all you get to do with these birds.

Considering all these points, establishing a relationship with crows can be equally rewarding and challenging. Regardless, always be mindful of these birds when interacting with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two crows eating

What Will Attract Crows?

Crows, like all birds, seek out three things: food, water, and shelter. First and foremost, food is the main attraction. They are omnivores and like to eat just about anything: seeds, nuts, fruits, insects, fish, worms — you name it.

Second, they need water to survive. This is the reason why they often nest in areas near abundant water sources, such as rivers, ponds, and streams. After all, crows can’t fly if they are too dehydrated.

Lastly, crows need open spaces with plenty of room to fly around and explore their surroundings. The last thing they want is a bunch of other animals crowding them out of their territory or eating their food supply.

Are Crows Attracted to Colors?

Surprisingly, crows favor black, dark grey, and soil-like tones. They will not necessarily avoid bright colors, but they prefer them to be toned down.

The main reason behind this is that, when viewed together, these colors contrast well with the pigment of their plumage — this way, it’s easier for them to blend in with their habitat and avoid being noticed by predators.

That said, since crows are known for their inquisitive nature, it’s not unexpected for them to be attracted to shiny objects such as coins, glass containers, metal rods, or jewelry that reflect light into their eyes.

Will Crows Bring You Gifts?

While it may seem like crows are offering you gifts, especially lost earrings, bones, coins, keys, and other shiny, reflective objects, the truth is that they are just leaving them accidentally.

For instance, if you are constantly feeding a crow by placing food on the ground for it to pick up, it may have a hidden item inside its beak. Consequently, it has to let go of the said object before it can eat the food.

With that being said, no one can say for sure what the intention is behind this behavior. Whether the crows do this to show their gratitude for your kindness or something else remains to be seen.

Do Crows Like to Be Pets?

Although crows can be befriended and sometimes tamed, remember that they are wild animals that are best left alone. They don’t make good pets since they are loud and can become aggressive if they feel intimidated.

To add to that, keeping a crow as a pet is illegal in most states and cities. You wouldn’t want to get into trouble with the authorities.

For such reasons, it’s best to keep your distance from them and let them do what they do best — having funerals when one of their kind has passed, scaring people with their calls, or just hanging out on street corners.

How Do You Know If a Crow Likes You?

When looking for signs that crows like you, one should observe the way that the birds react to your presence. This includes how fast they move to get away from you, how quickly they come back, and other similar behaviors.

For example, if you are regularly feeding the crows in your area, there is a good chance that they will begin to associate you with food. In most cases, this will result in them coming closer to you as they wait for their next feast.

Another sign of trust is the quickness with which these birds rush to the food you throw at them. They may even give you a brief look before diving headfirst into their meal.

Did the article encourage you to befriend a crow? Share your thoughts in the comments, along with any questions you might have about having a good relationship with these mysterious birds!

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