Crows are known for being one of the most intelligent bird species. However, they don’t seem so smart when they are crashing into your windows or flapping at you from behind the glass, right? Crows can also scratch or otherwise damage your windows, so if you’re running into this problem, it’s time to keep crows away for good!
Here are 11 steps you can take to keep crows away from your windows:
- Install window screens
- Put up window film
- Add collision stickers to your windows
- Remove the landing area
- Put down bird spikes
- Chase the crows away
- Install and awning
- Put up bird netting
- Use motion-sensitive sprinklers
- String some feathers together
- Remove food and water sources
If you’re at your wit’s end trying to shoo these pesky birds, don’t worry, these tactics will help you keep your sanity. You’ll be sending the ravens away and telling them to bother you “Nevermore.”
Why Are Crows Enamored By Your Windows?
Many birds fly into windows and end up harming themselves because of the reflection. To them, windows look like nature. The sky, trees, and green grass are all reflected by the glass and the bird thinks it’s flying through an opening.
There are many reasons a crow could be pecking at your glass or trying to get inside. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons, shall we?
They Can See Their Reflection In The Window
Birds often see their reflections in windows. In the case of crows, they can be territorial.
When they see their reflection in your window, they think they are seeing another crow, and they want that “other” crow gone.
By flapping their wings, putting on defensive stances, and pecking at the glass, they are attempting to frighten their rival off. Unfortunately, this crow isn’t backing down, because it’s their reflections they are seeing.
This display may be funny at first, but after the third hour of pecking, flapping, and noise-making, you’re ready to pull your hair out.
This is also the main reason why crows stay on your balcony as well.
They See Something Interesting Inside!
When a crow comes tapping-tapping at your chamber door, it’s not because it’s coming to remind you of a long-lost love.
The crow pecking at your window could be seeing something inside that they want. Maybe there’s a nice-looking plant they want, or a small pet in the room that looks delicious to a crow.
If the view from the window is of a few hamsters, finches, or other small birds, or your pet gecko, the crow could be attempting to get a free meal.
Crows Are Curious As Well As Intelligent
When a child finds something that catches their attention, they could play with it for hours on end. Especially, it seems, if that thing makes a lot of noise, and you’re trying to work.
Crows are thought to have the intelligence of a seven-year-old child. With all those smarts comes an avid curiosity. When they see something that catches their attention, they may spend quite some time trying to figure out how to get to it.
To further understand how smart these birds are, Yale University’s Human Relations Area Files says Corvids (birds in the crow family) are as smart as, or near as intelligent as primates.
The crow pecking at your window may just be curious and it’s trying to get inside for a good look around.
How To Keep Crows Away From Your Windows
Now you understand why crows are hanging around your windows and trampling over your patience.
What can you do to prevent crows from coming back so you can regain your peace of mind? We have options for you! But, do remember to always contact a professional if you are not sure how to tackle the crow problem.
In addition to all these amazing suggestions we have for you today in this article, make sure to head on over to our other article about ways to scare crows away, for even more fantastic ideas!
1. Install A Window Film
By removing the reflection, crows can’t see themselves, so they won’t try to fight off the rival that has their exact moves. This can be achieved by installing a window film that doesn’t reflect.
There are plenty of styles you can choose from that won’t restrict the light from filtering through. Many of these window films are easy to install as well so you won’t have to hire a professional.
CollidEscape Window Decals for Birds Strikes is a great option for your windows. It makes your windows look like a solid surface to birds. They won’t accidentally fly into it, and it removes reflections, so birds won’t see themselves.
This window film goes on without any special tools by clinging to the surface. You can simply stick it to the window and remove it just as easily. This window film won’t obscure your view either.
There are frosted glass clings, stained glass, and many other designs you could use depending on your style.
2. Install A Screen
Putting screens over your windows will help to remove the reflection birds see in the windows. It also puts a small barrier between the birds and the window.
If crows happen to still fly into the window, the screen will not only protect the glass, but it may aid in preventing devastating injury to the bird.
Another benefit to window screens is you can open the windows when the weather is mild, and you prevent bugs from getting in.
If you have very large windows, screens may get expensive. Especially if the screens have to be custom-made, so this may not be a perfect option for everyone. Don’t worry, because we still have plenty more options.
3. Use Bird Tape Or Collision Stickers
You don’t have to cover your entire window to prevent crows from hitting or pecking at your windows. Just put some tape on the windows or install some stickers. These methods show birds that there is a barrier ahead.
You don’t have to use any kind of special tape, you can use masking tape or painter’s tape. Use tape that’s at least an inch thick and put it on your windows however you like to keep crows away.
For example, put vertical strips of tape on your windows. Space them out so small enough that crows won’t be able to “fly” through them. Spacing the tape strips about 8 to 10 inches apart should be good.
If the thought of tape on your windows makes you cringe, you can install Anti Collision Window Stickers for Birds. Arrange these stickers on your windows to show birds that the window is an impassable barrier. Depending on the window size you may have to put several up.
4. Remove The Landing Area For Crows
Is there a large ledge that allows crows to able to stand outside your window? If it’s possible, remove it so the crow has nothing to stand on.
With the perch gone, the crow may go away and find more opportunistic areas to hang out.
Of course, removing the ledge or window sill isn’t always an option. For these instances, check out our next crow-repelling option.
5. Install Bird Spikes On Your Window Sills
Bird spikes sound like some kind of medieval torture device, but they are actually a humane way of keeping birds off of certain areas. They are metal or plastic spikes that prevent birds from perching.
These spikes don’t harm the birds, it only makes it uncomfortable to stand on them, so birds fly away.
You can easily install these EcoGrowth Bird Spikes on window sills to keep crows and other birds away from your windows.
6. Chase Crows Away Yourself!
Assuming you are home when the crows are flapping at tapping at your windows, you can go out and frighten them away yourself.
Crows are very afraid of people, and anything bigger than they are. So, all you have to do is run outside, make some noise, and wave your arms around.
If you have close neighbors, you might want to inform them of what you’re doing just in case they think you’ve lost your mind when they see you flailing around and making noises similar to a screech owl.
Or, Just get an air horn!
When the crow comes to visit your window, grab your Shoreline Marine Eco Air Horn and give it a blast from inside.
The sudden noise should be enough to send the crow scurrying for its life.
As an added benefit you can use it to wake up your teenager when they refuse to get out of bed!
And believe it or not, there are a bunch of noises that scare crows that you can use to deter them! Head on over to our article about different noises that scare crows to learn more!
7. Install An Awning
Whether it’s electric or a hand crack model, an awning can help to keep crows away from your windows. The shade comes down and covers most of the window and removes a lot of the reflection.
It also puts a barrier over the top which can make some birds afraid to get under it. When they feel enclosed like that, the birds may feel they have few escape options and will avoid these areas.
Awnings also offer you shade and can help cool your house a few degrees depending on how much sunlight comes in. A porch or patio that has an awning can be a nice gathering area, even in the heat of summer. While you and others are outside, crows won’t dare show up, so you have a double win.
8. String Together Feathers
This is a simple and crafty way to keep crows away from your windows. Gather up some feathers, or purchase a handful from your local craft store. While you’re there, get some ribbon, yarn, or rope, and a few suction cups or some Command strip hooks.
Now what you want to do is string together several feathers on the ribbon or yarn. Place them about 6 to 8 inches apart, and then hang them on the suction cups or hooks. If you need some added weight, glue on some beads, buttons, or something else that won’t damage the window.
The reason this works to keep birds away, is they see the feathers and assume there’s a bird predator nearby. The feathers indicate where a bird was eaten. When birds see a collection of feathers, they won’t come near.
9. Set Up Motion Sensor Sprinklers
Another great way to keep animals away from anywhere you don’t want them is to install a motion-sensitive sprinkler. Imagine walking in the park, and suddenly the lawn sprinklers come on and start soaking you.
Your first instinct is to get away from the spray, so you quickly run away. It’s the same for crows. When crows get blasted with water whenever they come near, it doesn’t take them long to learn this area is no fun.
Orbit Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler is an easy-to-install motion sprinkler. It also has a day or night mode, as well as 24-hour protection. This human method not only shoots out a jet of water, but the sudden noise helps to frighten pests away.
10. Put Bird Netting Over Your Windows
Bird netting will prevent crows from crashing into or getting to your windows. Set up a barrier of netting a few feet in front of your windows.
One problem with certain types of bird netting is some smaller birds might get caught in it. Look for netting that has holes no bigger than ¾”. This size will keep smaller birds from getting wings and their heads stuck inside.
Once the crows have moved on, you can remove the netting. Crows are intelligent enough to alter their behavior. When they are unable to get to the window, they will soon give it up and find other things to get into.
11. Remove Food And Water Sources
Crows don’t typically visit bird feeders, but they will stick around for other food sources. If you feed your pets outside, or if you leave corn, peanuts, or other feeds out for squirrels or deer, you could be inviting crows onto your property.
Crows are opportunistic feeders and have figured out that humans throw away a lot of food. They will eat pet food, and get into the garbage if it’s easily accessible. As long as there is food and/or water available to crows, they will stick around.
Start feeding your pets inside, or remove the food if they don’t eat it quickly. Take down squirrel feeders and keep trash sealed tightly in critter-resistant bins. If you have a bird bath, you might also want to consider letting it dry out until the crows move on.
Once the crows have left the vicinity, you can go back to normal, but be aware that the crows may come back.
Do Crows Stay In One Place For Long?
You may be wondering if crows set up a permanent residence, or if they will move on after a certain time. It depends.
When crows feel safe, if they are nesting, or if they have a plentiful source of food and water nearby they could stay around indefinitely.
Crows Raise Young Together And Defend Their Nests
When crows build a nest, both the male and female work on it and they help to raise the chicks. Crows mate for life, and the father has a big role in the life of the young.
Baby chicks usually leave the nest after about 4 weeks but they can stick around for a while.
Crows may stay with their parents throughout the several nesting seasons. They help to care for the nestlings by bringing food, and guarding the nest.
You could end up with a large group of crows living on your property over a season or two. Especially if there are nests nearby.
They Will Leave When Food Is Scarce
Crows are omnivores that will feed on nearly anything. They will eat insects, fruits and vegetables, eggs, small animals, and carrion. One of the reasons you may have a large community of crows is because resources are rich nearby.
Though they can fly for dozens of miles in search of food, once it becomes scarce, crows will move on to richer pickings.
Not all crows migrate, so you can’t rely on cooler weather to get rid of your crow problem. Instead, you’ll have to figure out what it is that’s attracting them to your area if you want them gone.
Crows Will Leave If Repeatedly Scared
How do you scare a crow exactly? Decoys are one way to scare crows away. The problem is, crows can figure out that the decoy isn’t a threat if it stays in the same place all the time.
Owl and snake decoys can deter crows, but you’ll have to move them around every day, or even multiple times a day to scare crows away. When they see the same owl sitting on the tree stump day in and day out, they’ll figure out it isn’t going to give chase.
If you frequently go out and frighten them away, or if you’re able to sic fido on the crows, they will end up getting the hint. After being chased away a few times, crows will move on to a safer property.
For a full list of natural predators of crows, head on over to our article! Any of these predators can be added to your outdoor space in decoy form to keep the crows away for good!
That’s All For Today!
Crow battering at your windows can damage them, or even break the glass. While that’s a worst-case scenario, the best case is a constant annoyance. No one wants to deal with either circumstance.
By following these steps, you shouldn’t have to worry about crows crashing into your windows, or trying to reach you regarding your car’s extended warranty!
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Holzhaider, Jennifer C., et al. “The social structure of New Caledonian crows.” Animal Behaviour 81.1 (2011): 83-92. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003347210003532
Knight, Richard L., Daniel J. Grout, and Stanley A. Temple. “Nest-defense behavior of the American crow in urban and rural areas.” Condor (1987): 175-177. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1368772
Kenward, Ben, et al. “Development of tool use in New Caledonian crows: inherited action patterns and social influences.” Animal behaviour 72.6 (2006): 1329-1343. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003347206003289
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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