Crows like shiny stuff. This alone makes them one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet. I mean, who doesn’t like shiny stuff? Throughout human history, crows and humans have had a complicated relationship. This blackbird has often been associated with darkness and otherworldly phenomena. Crows having links to the underworld is a common trend across a myriad of human cultures. In any case, wherever you find people, you find crows not far away. Since time immemorial, the bird is a constant companion to society.
People are naturally intrigued by these corvid creatures, and this interest is mutual. There are few creatures in nature as intelligent as a crow, and there are even fewer as clever. One of the fascinating aspects of crows is that they are one of the rare bird species on Earth to recognize human faces and form relationships with them beyond superficial value. In essence, humans can legitimately make friends with crows.
My first experience with befriending crows happened after many encounters of driving down a specific scenic road. Crows would always fly in front of my car and land, then fly off just before getting hit. It turned out the crows were dropping nuts or anything they needed cracked open to eat. Once I realized this, I always attempted to drive over what they dropped. Not long after starting this up, I noticed that they’d meet me at the same time to drop stuff in front of my car regularly. They recognized me and knew I was good at cracking open their next meal.
These birds watch everything with curiosity and intelligence, and if they don’t notice at first, they will eventually recognize your intention to befriend them. Depending on what living situation one resides in, getting the bird’s attention can differ. If you live in a noisy, busy city, or next to a restaurant, or next to anywhere with consistent loud noises, the attempt will be more difficult. However, if one lives in a smaller city or a rural area, there will be much ease in creating a relationship.
Hands down, the easiest way to get the attention of a crow is through food. But just what do crows like to eat? Well, in the past, A Feast For Crows was a saying people would give the aftermath of a battlefield. However, I’m not isaying to feed them flesh, just that they are scavengers and will eat what they can to survive. If you have fresh vomit for them, they will love it! But since that’s hard to come by, they also love fast food. But feeding fast food to anything is kind of a dick move. And some urban crows can be very picky because being symbiotic with modern humans is good eating. Trial and error may be required to find out what crows in the area like to munch on.
Crows absolutely love unsalted peanuts in the shell. The nut is a go-to treat for them across the board. They also love hardboiled eggs, dog food, cat food, sunflower seeds, and cereal. However, being intelligent creatures with their own culture, they will inherently be suspicious of people offering them food (even if that food is their favorite). So, consistency and dedication are critical if you want to earn their trust.
When beginning the friendship, don’t walk up and throw the food at them or yell in their direction. Instead, approach at a distance where they can see you, and then make clicking/smacking noises with your mouth, or even mouth kissing noises. Many crow lovers swear on the kissing sound, saying that the birds really respond to it. But you can also learn crow calls; there’s the rally call, attention call, and distress call. Buying a hand caller will take some practice to use effectively, but electronic hand callers on the market make it easy.
When the attention of crows has been gained, place the food where they can see it and then simply walk away, but don’t leave. Stand at a distance and observe the birds, and let them watch you. They may or may not accept the food. And it doesn’t matter if they don’t, because you must establish a regular routine of giving them food while at the same time proving yourself to be “safe.” After a bit, just leave. But if they DO accept the food on the first attempt, then lucky you, crows love ya.
Make a note of the time you fed the crows, and return the next day to repeat your new ritual. To become friends with crows, you cannot simply feed them; you must spend time with them. The birds have been so evolutionarily successful for a reason, so their distrust is valid. However, the crows WILL remember your face, and they will communicate to the rest of the murder all they know about you, you strange person trying to feed the physical metaphors of death. The beginning stages of the relationship will be a test. And over time, with consistency, these avian entities of the underworld will warm up to you if you pass that test.
Just don’t ever try to get too close because friendship with crows is not like that. They are not going to come land on one’s shoulder or arm and whatnot. No, friendship with a crow is admiration from afar. So always respect their space and give them their distance. Otherwise, any goodwill earned with the peanuts will be wasted.
If you’re trying to attract them into your yard or property in general, then you’ll want to get rid of anything that may scare them. Crows don’t like reflective surfaces that move in the wind, bells, or wind chimes. Fake decorative crows upside-down or hanging unnaturally will unnerve them too, but if you have realistic plastic crow decorations, this may actually help attract them.
If you make roosting areas on your property, this too will help attract their consistent attendance. They love horizontal places to hang out on that are sturdy because crows are big birds. They’re fond of birdbaths, too, as long as they are big enough and able to hold their weight. And if you keep that birdbath filled with healthy fresh water, then they will love it even more.
Once friend of crow is established, don’t be concerned if they vanish for a while now and again. They are highly territorial birds and will be back. It’s natural for them to migrate to specific areas to do particular crow stuff, depending on the time of year. So never fret if your friends are not showing up for their scheduled feeding time.
Eventually, the crows will memorize everything about you, including the exciting sounds you make, schedule, and mannerisms. And if they like you, they may caw or make other weird bird noises in your direction. If they do that, then you are 100% now crow friend. And from time to time, you will have to introduce yourself to new crow babies. And they will eventually start leaving you presents, like shiny stuff. If they gift you shiny stuff or dead carcasses, then you know you’re in good graces with your local crows. A corpse is a mighty fine gift to these birds and should not be taken lightly.