The Corvus genus, which also includes rooks, ravens, and crows, has over 45 different species of crow. What do crows consume, given that they have large, robust, and strong beaks and are not considered to be fussy eaters?
Many crow species are adaptable, opportunistic feeders that will eat a wide variety of foods, including all kinds of nuts, seeds, vegetables, and other plant material, as well as insects, invertebrates, and flesh from animals or carrion.
Crows will eat almost any available food with their big, broad bills. Other birds, including young birds and bird eggs, are included in this. Although many crows are good hunters as well, they often choose opportunistic feeding.
Continue reading to learn more about these sophisticated and observant birds’ eating habits!
Crow Habits And Biology
Despite being rowdy and loud, crows are regarded as one of the most intellectual creatures in the world due to their avian brains.
They are renowned for their versatility and even have a reputation for using common sense, just like humans.
In the wild, the New Caledonian crow utilizes sticks to entice ants from their nests.
They are members of the family Corvidae, which includes other birds like magpies, nutcrackers, and jays, and the genus Corvus along with ravens and rooks.
About 40 distinct species of crows exist, and their lengths range from 24-27 inches (53-69 cm). The American crow is around 17.5 inches (44 cm) long, compared to the fish crow’s approximate length of 19 inches (48 cm).
Although they frequently seek for food in groups, many crows are solitary creatures. The daily dietary requirement for an adult is 11 ounces.
They congregate in great numbers during breeding season to roost and defend themselves against predators. They may consume up to 40,000 grubs each day, which may include armyworms, caterpillars, and other noxious insects.
Others reside in communities known as “murder.” The murderers assemble to mourn a victim when one of them passes away. Some investigation is conducted.
Once the crime has been solved, they engage in a behavior known as mobbing in which they cooperate to drive the predator away.
Think again if you believed things couldn’t possibly get any better. Crows use more than 250 distinct cries to convey extra signals in their unique language. Other crows respond to a distress cry.
Crows only accept one mate for the rest of their lives. Depending on the species, they display a range of breeding and incubation behaviors. The average time for incubation is around 18 days, and the chicks reach maturity at four weeks.
What do crows eat in the wild?
This does vary greatly from location to region and species to species given that there are about 45 species of crows (including rooks and ravens). But generally speaking, crows are quite adaptable and flexible feeders.
For instance, the Carrion Crow, a highly common species of crow, eats plant debris, numerous kinds of insects, worms, and small animals in addition to carrion. Some crows, like Hooded crows, enjoy eating fish and shellfish as well. They have been seen dropping crabs and other shellfish from great heights to shatter their shells.
Crows are probably capable hunters as well. While American and New Caledonian crows have been recorded using tools to break grubs from logs, the Large-Billed crow is a skilled lizard hunter. This demonstrates the superior intellect of Corvid family birds.
What Do Crows Eat: Crow Diet
One of the most widespread myths about crows is that they solely consume dead meat and are scavengers. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Similar to us, crows are omnivores. They consume a variety of foods.
Although crows are opportunistic feeders and may utilize a food source when it is offered, the majority of their diet consists of insects, small animals, eggs, and other birds.
They often consume whatever food is readily accessible out of convenience. They’ll consume largely carrion if that is the case. They will consume largely tiny animals if it is small mammals.
Here is a detailed list of the foods that crows consume.
Crows may consume a variety of seeds, including pumpkin and black oil sunflower seeds. When leftover food from the kitchen and meat scraps are not available, they will eat these seeds. Simply strewn them about your yard to provide them with food.
We recommend purchasing the Meadow Ridge Farms Black Oil Sunflower Bird Seed from Amazon if you wish to feed crows sunflower seeds. It contains just black oil sunflower seeds. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about the product’s quality.
Small animals that crows consume include mice, rats, squirrels, and rabbits. They often stalk these creatures from a perch until they are close enough to shoot. When they catch their prey, they either consume it right away or bring it back to their perch.
The term “mobbing” refers to one of the intriguing hunting strategies used by crows. They do this by flying above a group of birds until they spot an easy target, at which point they attack after identifying their victim.
Crows are compelled to do anything they can to live during the winter, when food is in short supply, and this sort of behavior is typically observed.
Crows like eating a variety of nuts, including peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, and more, just like other birds. You may also give them peanuts, either shelled or unshelled. They do not, however, add salt or sugar when eating peanuts.
We suggest purchasing the PLANTERS Unsalted Premium Nuts from Amazon if you want to provide crows with a variety of peanuts. This product is made with natural ingredients, including cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and pistachios.
Carrion (dead meat)
If it’s accessible, carrion may be a part of a crow’s diet. Although it does not make up the majority of their food, it is possible to observe crows devouring dead animals, including those of other birds like hawks and owls.
Other species besides crows also consume carrion. Additionally, hyenas, vultures, and raccoons scavenge for dead meat.
Crows consume carrion for a variety of reasons, including to get to the insects that are eating the meat.
Nearly every species of crow consumes a variety of fruits, including apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, raisins, etc. They also consume a variety of wild fruits, including as dogwood, poison-oak, figs, wild grapes, and cherries. Fruits, however, don’t appeal to them as much as other meals do.
Purchase some fruits from your neighborhood fruit stands if you wish to feed the crows a variety of foods. You might instead present them with dried fruit. Highly advised is the Power Up Trail Mix from Amazon. This fruit box contains over ten different kinds of fruit, together with sugar and oil.
Crows frequently consume human food scraps like chips, bread, and other leftovers in metropolitan settings. Additionally, they will go through garbage bins looking for anything like fish or meat bones. They will linger near restaurants and in parking lots as opportunistic feeders as they wait to find food that has been left out.
Berry snacks are a favorite of crows, much like fruits are. Crows like eating many different kinds of wild berries, such as pokeberries, juniper berries, cranberries, blueberries, and bayberries. When their usual food supplies are scarce, they especially eat berries.
Are you willing to provide different berries for the crows to eat? Purchase some from the store or place an Amazon purchase for Organic Mixed Berries. This delectable culinary item consists of cranberries, sour cherries, and dried blueberries. Crows prefer it because it is also gently sweetened and unsulfured.
Insects & Grubs
Invertebrates like grubs and insects make up the majority of the food of crows. Crows can consume a large number of invertebrates at once, which accounts for their ravenous hunger for them. To us, they resemble cherries. You can’t stop eating them once you start.
Crows are successful hunters and will either peck at the ground or even dig into the dirt to get these bugs.
Crows may congregate in large flocks in regions with an abundance of insects. They will spend hours searching for food once they have located a good location. Crows can benefit greatly from hunting in groups due to their combined power and numbers.
Besides eating berries and fruits, crows also devour vegetables. Pumpkin, beans, peas, peppers, potatoes, and many more common household vegetables are among the vegetables. However, if your crows get used to eating meat every day, it could be challenging to encourage them to convert to veggies.
Spread some beans and peas throughout your yard if you don’t mind giving crows a modest amount of veggies to eat. The Mother Earth Products Freeze Dried Peas may be found on Amazon, though. You may eat these dried peas while camping or give them to crows to devour.
Crows are likely to raid your pets’ food if you have pets and they are in the neighborhood. Your dogs and cats’ little pellet food is quite popular with them. They adore the flavor—crispy it’s and plenty! Why not adore it?
For this reason, if there are a lot of crows in your region, it is preferable to feed your pets inside.
Crows consume a variety of grains, including corn, rice, wheat, barley, millet, oats, buckwheat, sorghums, and more, in addition to bird seeds. When they cannot discover any dead animals or tiny mammals, these blackbirds rely on grains.
You may use grains from your kitchen to feed your black-feathered pals. Please don’t worry if you don’t have any. You can get Quaker Old Fashioned Rolled Oats from Amazon, as we’d like to recommend. For your garden guests, you may also purchase Kaytee Cracked Corn at Amazon.com.
Anyone who has ever had an apple tree in their yard will be familiar with the agonizing sight of their apples being destroyed by crow beaks. They also consume bananas and oranges as fruits.
Additionally, they adore wild food, particularly berries and grapes. Don’t believe that planting bushes with deadly berries around your garden would keep them away because they devour things that are dangerous to humans.
By covering your trees with netting or bird spikes to block bird access to the treetops, you may stop this foraging habit. By doing this, crows are prevented from damaging any more apples!
Crows also learn from one another by observing the members of their group or flock and then using that information to improve their own hunting strategies.
Meat & Fat
Crows are omnivorous scavengers, as you may well be aware. These blackbirds mostly consume fat and leftover meat, particularly from chickens and ducks. Additionally, you might give them raw suet from local butcher shops.
Don’t give them salted meat, cheese, or processed meat like sausage or ham. As opposed to this, make sure to chop up any unsalted meat and fat into tiny bits, similar to how you would chop up nuts and bird seed. C & S Products Peanut Delight from Amazon is suggested as suet.
Crows prefer eating chicken and duck eggs more than other types of birds. When the birds are not around, they examine the nests and steal the eggs. Put some small-sized eggs for the crows in your yard if you wish to feed them chicken or duck eggs.
Hard-boiled eggs, on the other hand, are a really unique delicacy for crows. Instead of giving them regular eggs, you may give them eggs that have been peeled and sliced into manageable bits so that hungry crows can consume them with ease.
Crows consume a variety of processed foods, such as pasta, popcorn, chips, crackers, scallops, etc. In an emergency, you may even give some cookies to the crows. These blackbirds dislike salty junk food, though. Consequently, be sure to give them unsalted ones.
Don’t worry if you want to give the crows junk food but don’t have any in your kitchen. You may get some in your neighborhood grocery or on Amazon.com. We advise you to get Kettle Unsalted Potato Chips and Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Popcorn from Amazon.
What not to Feed Crows
Crows are approachable. Crows will start visiting your garden if you put out some food for them near your bird feeder. But be cautious for the food you give them to consume.
Do not release:
Salt: Although crows may consume some salt, too much of it might damage their kidneys. You’ll see that the remaining products on this list frequently have a lot of salt in them.
Bread—Bread is high in carbohydrates and has little nutritional value (sugar). Since crows are omnivores, they require more protein than is found in bread. Put out food that will provide crows in your backyard a healthy diet if you wish to feed them.
Rubbish—Crows will consume garbage if they find it, but doing so is bad for their health and can result in illness or even death because of the modern trash’s high chemical content.
Products made from meat—While crows may hunt tiny animals like mice and shrews, too much meat is hazardous for them. They aren’t carnivores; they are omnivores. The seasoned meat is very harmful to them.
Crows will consume mice and rats, but they prefer to go on their own food hunts. Crows shouldn’t be fed if they dwell in your yard, as doing so would encourage them to pursue these prey items more frequently than they otherwise would.
Nuts are healthful, however roasted nuts include oil, salt, and sugar, making them unfit for crow consumption.
Because they are opportunistic eaters, crows will consume whatever they can. Although they like insects and small animals, they will consume fruit and carrion if it is available.
Avoid feeding crows anything that can harm them if you want to feed them and make friends with them. They should avoid anything salty at all costs. Crows may be seen eating chips that were left on the ground outside of large fast food establishments. Despite the fact that these things are detrimental for crows’ diets, they will always act opportunistically. It’s similar to how much sugar is bad for our health even if we enjoy it!
You can see that crows are more than simply scavengers. They are extremely ingenious and adept at making the most of their surroundings. They are not deadly birds just because they consume some foods that people would find repulsive; in fact, they are very clever animals.