Last Updated on June 10, 2022
Crows are known for two things. They are brainy and also destructive. In some gardens, they do no damage at all but if your property is losing fruit, harm is being done to small animals or other types of no-no’s are happening, then this is the article for you. We have compiled a list of the best humane ways to show crows the door.
Table of Contents
1. Decorate Your Tree Like It’s Christmas
Alright, you don’t have to go overboard with trinkets to keep crows away from your fruit trees. An effective way to scare them off is to simply hang a few objects from branches. Aim for things that move in the wind and reflect sunlight. Some examples include old CDs, pie tins, foil sheets, flags and even wind chimes.
Remember, crows will eventually figure out that there is no danger associated with these moving, sparkling things. For this reason, swap your items around or add new ones. Eventually, the unsettled crows will avoid the tree or leave your garden altogether.
2. Remove Their Opportunity To Scavenge
One of the reasons why the crow is such a successful bird – besides being ridiculously smart – is the fact that they are opportunistic feeders. They will eyeball your trash, compost heap, any type of food waste, your veggie garden and even the dog’s kibble.
When you keep your garden clean, crows lose an easy food source. Change your open-air compost heap for a compost bin that is secured with a lid. Make sure that the area around your trash can is also free of food bits and that the birds cannot get inside the trash itself. Pick up fruit, dog food and other edibles that are inviting crows to lunch. If your crow problem is devastating your veggies, consider investing in a greenhouse instead of a plot of land.
3. Adopt An Owl
Crows and owls are natural enemies. To scare away crows, your garden might need the help of an owl. Luckily, you don’t have to get a real one! Despite their intelligence, crows might be put off when they notice a fake owl hanging around your property. There are some splendid fake owls available these days and some even come with bobbleheads to give them a more life-like appearance.
Once again, remember to move your owl to a new spot in the garden every other day or so. If the statue stays in the same place, the crows will realize that there is no danger.
4. Employ A Scarecrow
Hey, we totally get it if you just rolled your eyes. But there is a reason why scarecrows are a fixture on farms and that is because they work. Crows are naturally wary of humans and a scarecrow is a freaky-looking human (even to us!). This fake person might just be the answer to your crow problems but if you don’t have the time or patience to make one, visit a garden centre or purchase one online.
You probably saw this footnote coming… Always move your scarecrow around every few days to give the appearance of life. You don’t have to do this for the rest of your own life. Very often, crows that are being actively deterred will move on to someone else’s garden and vanish from yours.
5. Anti-Bird Products
These days, there is a product for every problem. As you can imagine, there are countless options for anyone looking to get rid of a pest. In the case of crows, you can purchase noisemakers that are specifically designed to deter birds. The problem with this is, of course, that it might end up scaring away other bird species that you want in your garden.
But there is a silver lining. Even when these noisemakers scare away everything with feathers, you can stop using the product when you notice that crows are no longer visiting your garden. Then you can simply lure the doves or hummingbirds back by providing them with feeding stations and water.
6. Growl At The Crows
Alright, human growing won’t work at all. But playing a recording of predator noises can help in some cases. You can search on Youtube which predator sounds tend to frighten crows and make your own recording. You can even play owl sounds to make your fake owl appear more realistic! Once again, use different recordings. If the same one plays over and over, that brainy crow will realize that something is up.
7. Use Bird Spikes
The purpose of these spikes is to prevent crows from landing on your walls. In fact, you can place these spikes on all their favorite perches. The best spikes should be non-lethal and only designed to make it impossible for the bird to land. Also, make sure that the spikes are clearly visible to the crow long before it chooses to perch.
The goal of bird spikes should never be to cause harm. Not only is this cruel to crows but you can also harm a neighbor’s cat or other bird species.
8. Sprinkle The Crows With Water
Another effective non-lethal deterrent is a motion-sensor sprinkler. The moment it senses movement, it will pop up and start sprinkling. This method is great if crows tend to land in your garden and you also have other unwelcome guests – like that neighbor’s cat. As a bonus, your plants will also get a drink, courtesy of an unlucky crow!
9. Banish Crows From Your Bird Restaurant
Crows quickly learn which gardens have feeding stations and this is a major reason why they might be hanging around yours. If you provide snacks for other types of birds but don’t want to use a noisemaker that might also scare your favorite species away, then a crow-proof feeder is the way to go.
You can purchase a feeder designed to exclude crows. But in truth, if your favorite birds are all smaller than crows, then simply get any feeder that only allows small birds to eat. This type of feeder is also useful if you want to prevent squirrels from visiting your garden.
10. Remove Real Estate (Nesting Sites)
Crows like to nest in groups. For this reason, they will love a tall or otherwise big tree with plenty of branches. If you have such a tree, consider removing some of the dead branches. This lack of space will go against their instinct to brood as a flock. You can also decorate any potential nesting trees with shiny scare tactics or an owl.
Please, never remove nests when the crows are already breeding. This is unnecessarily cruel, especially if there are eggs or chicks involved. You can remove nests that are old, abandoned or when the fledgelings have left the nest.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Crow And A Raven?
Crows are smaller and their feathers appear tight and smooth. Ravens are generally larger and often display ruffled feathers in the neck and chest area.
Q: Can A Crow Be Useful?
Crows can be exceptionally useful. Two examples include pest control and forest renewal. A small group of crows can eat an enormous amount of grubs, worms, caterpillars and other insects that plague a garden. These birds also spread seeds, helping trees and plants to spread.
Q: How Smart Is A Crow?
Crows are highly intelligent. They can solve complex puzzles given to them by their human handlers and they can also recognize the faces of different people. They also have the ability to mimic sounds. Indeed, the BBC suggests that the crow might be the smartest animal other than primates.
Q: What Is The Lifespan Of A Crow?
A crow’s life expectancy can vary greatly. On average, you can expect these birds to live up to the age of 7 or 8 years. But some birds, especially in captivity, have been known to become 20 years old.
Q: Do Crows Collect Shiny Objects?
No, this is a myth. Wild crows will never waste their energy collecting and storing anything other than food. Crows in captivity might have started this myth because their owners noticed that young birds like to play and stash away objects. These birds might be attracted to shiny spoons and coins because they are readily available. Juvenile wild crows will “play” with sticks and stones instead.