Crows. They’re one of the most intelligent species amongst all the birds. They can easily adapt to changes and learn how to survive within one location no matter what.
However, sometimes they need to look for new feedings, which makes them travel and, who knows, settle on your territory. Crows are usually attracted to crops, gardens, and other easy-to-reach foods.
In this article, I describe these cunning birds in detail to provide you with a clear understanding of your enemy. You will learn how and why they behave and what to do to keep them away. In the end, you will be able to decide what remedy is the best for your case and how to avoid reinfestations in the future.
Know Your Enemy
Crows are medium or large black birds that are widely spread all over the world due to their high adaptability and exceptional natural intellect. There are over 40 species of crows, while the most common one in the US is the American crow. These birds are active year-round, and they always want to eat, which makes them look for feedings near human dwellings.
The American crow migrates around the US and Canada throughout the year. Crows are social, and In most cases, they travel along with thousands of birds of the same kind, and they look for food at each and every stop. Crows eat virtually everything that has nutrition value.
They usually eat insects and vegetables, but they don’t neglect carrion, garbage, rubber, and even live animals, including snakes, frogs, and other crows that seem to be weaker.
To understand how smart they are, you have to believe that they’re smarter than some people. For example, when crows encounter hostile animals and people, they memorize appearance and share this information with their flock mates. It’s just a single example of Corvidae intelligence.
They can also get together to figure out where the danger comes from and to mob predators if they’re trying to catch one of the flock mates.
The average bird can grow up to 20,8 inches high, has powerful, sharp claws, and a long beak attached to a strong skull and neck muscles. Some say that crows live up to 100 years, but it’s a myth.
The average lifespan of a crow is 10-15 years, while American crows usually die when they reach 7-8-year age. The most long-lived specie is the Australian crow. It can live up to 22 years, but not more.
What Attracts Crows to My Yard
To answer this question, you have to understand the motives of crows. Isn’t it easier for them to invade rural areas where the number of humans per square isn’t so high? Unfortunately for your yard, it isn’t. In fact, suburban backyards and gardens are much more attractive for crows as they’re not inhabited with dangerous rural predators.
Your garden is a secure feeding with plenty of insects and other easy-access treats. They are not likely to attack your garden if they’re not hungry or just in the middle of a day-long flight. This happens when the flock meets your yard occasionally. If there’s a store food cache nearby, they will try to rob it first.
Are Crows Dangerous?
Some people value crows on their land as a small flock can help them to reduce the population of other pests. However, they can be extremely dangerous too. The first reason to start getting rid of crows is their promiscuous appetite. They can destroy your crops, vegetables, and fruit trees if there’s nothing more attractive to eat around.
The second threat is the urge of crows to protect themselves and their children. Crows can travel with young birds, and if they consider you or your pet as a threat, they can attack desperately. Your cats and dogs can get interested in small crows and try to catch them, and the aftermath can be awful.
Crows usually team up and mob attackers together. If an offender doesn’t have a way to escape, these birds can peck it to death. If you see crows in your yard, always keep pets inside the house.
The third threat is their memory. Crows remember faces of attackers and usually become aggressive to everyone they see if one of them showed hostility. Next, they can teach their flock members about the threat.
As a result, the entire flock (can be over 10 hundred species) will remember that humans are bad guys for the rest of their lives! Crows react to threats like humans and never forget their offenders.
How to Get Rid of Crows With Scarecrows and Dummies
Traditional humane-like scarecrows used to be effective centuries ago. Unfortunately, ravens have become much smarter since then. While young birds can get scared, the adult species can get used to the presence of a scarecrow quite fast.
There are effective scarecrows, too, though. I’ve conducted multiple experiments with different creative models and figured out that ravens fear realistic mechanical owls. Such scarecrows are easy to install and keep working 24/7, repelling all critters and nuisance birds.
The second option will make your yard look a bit like a witch’s house, but it can help too. I’m talking about dead crow dummies. They attract the attention of live birds and make them feel extremely nervous and look for predators. If they see something shiny nearby, they will withdraw and tell the flock to keep away.
How to Repel Crows
There are various ways to keep crows out of the garden, but it’s hard to call the best one. I recommend you to combine deterrents for the best effect or alternate methods as these birds can learn from their mistakes. The first remedy is shiny objects.
You can hang something like used CDs, party strings, or a small disco ball in the middle of the yard. The shining will scare the birds effectively. For some reason, Corvus thinks that shiny objects are deadly, so they get nervous when they notice shining.
There are more advanced devices too. For example, motion-activated sprinklers can detect crows and other moving objects and shoot water right into them. This method is very irritating for ravens, and it’s very hard for them to detect where the water comes from, so they won’t try to mob and destroy the sprinkler.
Crow Deterrent Sounds
Sonic crow repellent can also help you a lot, but it can also easily irritate you and your neighbors. Crows don’t like rattling and clanging sounds, fireworks, and distressed voices of other crows. Loud deterrents show the same efficiency as shining objects, so I prefer the noiseless solution.
On the other hand, you can get an ultrasonic repellent that won’t irritate your household but will make the birds feel nervous and look for a safer place away from your garden. Ultrasonic devices also cover larger areas than traditional noisemakers.
Maintain a Clean Backyard
This method is one of the most effective. Make sure that there’s no open garbage around your area. Purchase Metal or plastic rubbish containers with heavy lids to make the rubbish inaccessible for ravens. This way, you will also protect your yard from other easy food seekers, such as stray dogs, raccoons, etc.
Next, you should avoid leaving food outside. If you had a BBQ picnic, make sure that you don’t leave pieces of meat or grilled vegetables inside the grill. Use the lid to close it when the party is over.
Even is the garden looks clean, the crows may get attracted by those bird feeders. If you don’t want to remove them completely, you should look for models that include a protective mesh or large bird detectors.
The first option makes it too difficult for a raven to get the food, while the second closes the feeder if the detector registers a heavy body. I like the second option more because some crows can learn how to topple meshed feeders.
Netting and Bird Spikes
Bird spikes and nets are the least humane ways to repel ravens, but they’re very effective. Crows fear small mesh nets as they understand that it can be difficult to get out. A four-inch netting will work well.
You can also try to install bird spikes. These items are safe for smaller birds, but crows and other large birds won’t be able to land on them. As a result, they will fly somewhere else to avoid your yard the next time.
Top 7 Crow Treatments
Now take a look at the remedies that have proved to be the most effective against crows during years of my work as a pest control expert. For this piece, I’ve selected the most effective remedies in all categories, including scarecrows, deterrents and repellents, and other tools.
Dalen Natural Enemy Scarecrow Horned Owl – Realistic Owl Scarecrow
This 16-inch handpainted owl is not only a beautiful piece of garden decor but also an excellent repellent. Pests will see it from afar and stay away from your land to avoid encounters with a large predator.