6 Natural Predators And Enemies Of Crows

crow in a tree

Crows are extremely interesting birds, who have the ability to hold grudges and make friends with people. However, crows have a few natural predators, besides larger birds like hawks and owls.

In truth, crows are omnivores and eat a varied diet, including other birds. The main predators and enemies of crows include hawks, raccoons, eagles, owls, squirrels and humans. Animals will eat crows and humans cause deforestation of trees, causing long-term harm to crow populations.

Whether you would like to repel crows or befriend them, this information is for you. Keep on reading to learn about the natural predators of crows and a whole host of crow facts!

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What Predators Kill Crows?

Crows are larger birds, around one pound, but this size heavily depends on the species. Ravens who are often mistaken for crows can be around four pounds. There are only two species of crow native to the United States, the American Crow, and the Fish Crow.  While they’re a small bird, they do have some predators.

In short, the most common natural predators of crows are:

  • Hawks
  • Raccoons
  • Eagles
  • Owls
  • Squirrels
  • Humans

Predators of the crow can vary. Humans are the main ones, followed by larger birds such as hawks that can easy swoop down onto a crow. Ground predators can sometimes get these birds as well if given the opportunity. 

For instance, raccoons will often raid crows’ nests for their eggs and babies. Any animal able to climb a tree well can raid crows’ nests. 

Larger birds like eagles, hawks, and owls will often eat crows and their nestlings. Luckily for crows, they often have the numbers to take on these predators, meaning they rarely have major problems. Squirrels in certain cases are considered to be predators of crows, if given the opportunity.

Humans are the major threat to crows. Deforestation and other human interactions often cause crows to die or lose nesting. 

Some humans even purposely harm crows. In other countries, crows are seen as vermin because they commonly dig through trash and can be annoying. That being said, they still have strong population numbers.

What Do Crows Hate The Most?

Nestling of the crow in the nest

Crows do not like shiny objects. These objects can mess up their eyesight, which they rely on to hunt. 

Crows also hate loud noises. This makes them feel uneasy about their surroundings. Making noises loudly and often will help deter these pesky birds. 

You can add things like wind chimes around, which may deter crows for a short time. Eventually, they will adapt to the noise and shine. 

Crows also hate bird spikes. Place bird spikes on areas where crows may roost. This makes it painful for them to roost.  

How Do I Permanently Get Rid Of Crows?

There is no permanent solution to crows. However, there are steps to learning to live around them and limit any negative interactions you may have.

  • Keep trash sealed
  • Closed compost
  • Keep food picked up
  • Crow proof bird feeders
  • Do not anger crows
  • Offer alternative foods for crows

Crows will come around for an easy meal. Who wouldn’t? They will often pick through trash and compost looking for a snack. 

Make sure you have a proper lid on your trash. If they cannot get into it, your trash will not attract crows. 

Get a proper, animal-proof compost bin like this Compost Tumbler Bin Composter Dual Chamber 43 Gallon Variation! The dual-chamber design allows you to let one side compost while you add fresh food scraps to the other side. Compost typically has food scraps that will attract more animals than crows. 

Crows will target things like bird feeders for easy food. Purchase your bird feeders accordingly to help prevent crows from targeting your birdseed for an easy meal. A bird feeder like the Roamwild Squirrel Proof Wild Bird Feeder Mixed Seed Sunflower Heart Version will work great!

Because of their ability to hold grudges, angering crows is a terrible idea. Avoiding making crows angry is the key to preventing these birds from stalking you for their revenge. 

Offering food for crows is a wonderful way of coexisting since you will never rid yourself of them permanently. Offer them their own food to stop them from harassing other birds on your property and getting into your garbage. 

Maybe you can even befriend some crows along the way!

What Would Attack Crows?

Crows have a reputation of being little thieves and this has made them many enemies over the years. They will often steal items they see as value or food. They are collectors and hoarders. 

This makes people the most likely to attack crows. Their loud behavior and bad rap make them a target for many people. This is sad because while crows can often be annoying, they are an important part of a diverse ecosystem. 

Crows are not only predators, but they are also prey. They also eat carrion, also known as dead carcasses. This makes them important at cleaning up dead animals and preventing the spread of many diseases.  

Eating carrion on the ground makes them more likely to get killed. Cars and larger land predators could target these birds while they are feasting. Unlike birds like hawks who would carry their prey up into trees, crows would need to eat the carcasses of larger mammals on the ground. 

If the crows are eating roadkill, this puts them at risk of being hit by cars. Luckily, crows are smart enough to get out of the road when cars come their way! Although, there is still always the risk of being hit.

Larger predators like owls will also attack crows in hopes of a meal. A lot of times, however, crows will outnumber predators and win. 

Mockingbirds will often attack crows. These birds are ruthless in their pursuit during nesting season. They will attack any animal that gets too close to their nest.

Ground animals like cats and dogs will sometimes attack crows. You can stop this by properly controlling your animals. Keeping cats inside and containing dogs in a fenced area or properly watching them can lessen these attacks.

Why Are Crows So Loud In The Morning?

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) landing on a perch

Crows are early risers. They awake early in search of their meals, like many of us! They are communicating with each other for breakfast. The louder they are, the less likely a predator will attack them. 

Crows in a murder make a lot of noise to intimidate other predators. The more noise there is, the less likely it is that a predator will attack. This is because a predator will believe that the crows are much bigger than they really are. There is safety in numbers after all!

Another reason is these crows may look for more members to join their murder. They roost in the evenings and may need more to help maintain safety. 

What Does It Mean When Crows Are Around Your House?

Many indigenous cultures view crows and ravens as sacred animals. They consider crow a symbol of wisdom. Other societies also have their myths surrounding these birds. 

Celtic people have similar beliefs. They see these birds as good omens. Americans sometimes view crows as a symbol of death. Many other legends surround these animals.

Those stories aside, there are simpler reasons these crows are around your home, and no, it is not because you are going to die. They are most likely searching for food. Humans produce tons of food waste every year and they are after our waste.

There are also a few other reasons crows may love your house and yard. 

  • Trees to roost
  • Bird feeders
  • Dead crow in your yard
  • Water source

Crows love tall trees to roost in. They feel safe in them, so it is only natural that if you have a nice tree in your yard, they may want to become your loud neighbors! Hang things like CDs and Unves 350ft Bird Tape Ribbon, Double Sided Reflective Bird Tape! These products will help deter the crows from making your trees their home. 

Bird feeders can also attract crows since it is easy feasting. Only put up feeders that the crows cannot get into or consider not putting up bird feeders if it is a major issue to have crows around. Bird feeders attract more than just crows, including rats, squirrels, and other pests. 

Dead crows attract other crows because they will host wakes or funerals for them. They all gather around to inspect the dead. Crows will take this time to learn more about what may have killed their fellow crow to better their survival knowledge.

Water sources are important for crows. Not only do they drink the water, but they also bathe. Water sources on your property may attract crows. 

Another interesting thing crows do is a behavior called anting. This is where the bird purposely rubs ants into their feathers, which is indeed weird. Birds are animals with complex systems and we understand little about anting. 

Many speculate what anting is for. Some believe it is to protect the crows from various pests and diseases. Ants produce toxins that may aid crows in preventing various parasites and diseases. 

Another theory is that birds do this during molting. Some think they enjoy the tingling that the ant’s chemicals provide, sort of like using aftershave when shaving. 

Birds are weird. I think we can all agree on that.

Do Crows Talk To Each Other?

Common crow, ( Corvus corone), perched on a branch

Crows hold funerals for the dead. This is interesting, considering they are a symbol of death. 

The reason crows do this is to learn of any danger in the area for their self-preservation. They call the others as well, so they all can learn. 

According to research from Cornell University, crows communicate with others within their social circle. They also form close-knit family circles known as “murders”. 

Crows will also band together to attack threats. They will communicate with each other and attack the threat all at once in an act called mobbing. They can even remember faces! 

These birds will hold grudges against humans. Often, they will remember any humans that have been hateful towards them. Murders will often mob them. 

In the same way they remember those who have wronged them, they have been shown to favor those who are kind. In one case, a little girl was feeding crows, and they remembered her. They began bringing her presents as tokens of their gratitude. 

Like parrots, crows, and other corvid family members can learn to mimic words. They can learn extreme vocabulary. Researchers are still studying their capabilities. 

According to information from UW Bothell, Crows also have a variation in their calls. Humans can even understand these and researchers have begun mapping them out!

The intelligence levels of crows continue to increase.

What Scents Do Crows Hate?

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) calling with a green background

Birds can smell; however, they do not rely on their sense of smell. They have very few smells that repel them. 

Strong essential oils discourage crows from making your area their home. Because of their sensitive lungs, strong essential oils can irritate them, which makes them avoid these smells. 

Here are three scents that crows dislike:

  • Peppermint
  • Garlic
  • Lemon

Using these smells may deter crows temporarily. Eventually, it will wear off and need to be reapplied.

Fun fact: Birds cannot taste capsaicin, the compound peppers get their spice from. Therefore, many squirrel-proof bird foods contain peppers inside them. Some think the smell of cayenne is a bird deterrent, which could be true in concentrated amounts.

The smell of predators can also deter crows. Crows do not want to be in areas where they may perceive danger to be present. This means they will avoid the smell of predators like foxes. 

This all being said, because of their olfactory senses being less than ideal, the use of scents as deterrents may not be the most effective way of repelling crows. Other methods will be more effective and worth your time and resources!

What Are Crows Afraid Of?

Crows have a few fears. Most of them have to do with their instincts to stay alive. This makes it somewhat easy to scare crows away until they adapt.

Movement and sound make crows uneasy. They fear these because they worry it is a danger to them. Adding shiny tape around can help make these birds stay away; however, this will also deter other birds. That makes it a double-edged sword. 

Adding various predator decoys may help prevent crows from moving into your yard. These may only work for a short period as they will eventually realize the decoys are fake. Decoys such as this Plastic Owl Scarecrow Sculpture. The moving head is important since it provides it with a more realistic look. 

Scarecrows are popular among farmers since they can decimate crops. However, adding shiny spinners should work better, as this is a more realistic moving object. Scarecrows eventually no longer do their jobs since they do not move. 

Overall, crows are afraid of things that will harm them. Their high intelligence makes them wary of new things and they will investigate. They adapt easily to decoys and other deterrents and that makes them difficult to trick.

That’s A Wrap!

Crows and other corvids are very smart animals. We often compare them to humans when discussing how smart they truly are. This makes them a difficult nuisance to deal with.  

They are highly adaptive and will quickly learn how to evade many tools to deter or prevent them. The best way to make them go away is by learning how to either live with them or have zero reasons for them to move in.

Crows as neighbors can be loud, as they are highly vocal animals. This makes it sometimes difficult to live with them. However, they are not harmful.

Crows are omnivores and will eat carrion. They raid birds’ nests and other animals’ nests to eat. This can make it annoying for many avid birdwatchers. 

It is important to realize that crows are important parts of the ecosystem, and sometimes they are just a natural part of life. They can be somewhat annoying with their talking, but they are not the evil animals some see them as. 

References

Anting. (n.d.). Web.stanford.edu. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://web.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Anting.html

Crows. (n.d.). https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/00611/wdfw00611.pdf

Crows: They Don’t Forget and They Don’t Forgive – Scientific Scribbles. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/sciencecommunication/2018/10/04/crows-they-dont-forget-and-they-dont-forgive/

The Intelligent Crow. (2018, September 19). Libraries.indiana.edu. https://libraries.indiana.edu/intelligent-crow

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