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-   -   Crows: Best Way To Attract Them? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=818777)

Quasimodem 02-10-2017 05:06 PM

Crows: Best Way To Attract Them?
 
Do you like crows as much as I do?

Having done some research, I've learned they eat just about anything, are diurnal, and of course, very smart.

So we got a tall bird feeder with metal rungs on the side, and two sections for food.

Going on the assumption that they're clever thieves, we bought a box of hamster food and filled the feeder with it, and I am hoping that at some point, they'll find my way to our front yard.

1. I don't have the feeder hanging from a tree (can't reach a limb) but from an old bench swing set.

2. I still need to put out some water

3. And I am currently thawing out some wild hog meat we were given by brother a while back. I plan to add this in small bits to their other food.

So if you too are a fan of corvidae, what's your method of attracting them?

Anecdote: I saw a funny t-shirt online last night. Upon it were two crows on a line, One was facing the back of the other one, who was obviously female and wanted nothing to do with the first one.

The caption on the shirt read Attempted Murder. :)

Darren Garrison 02-10-2017 05:15 PM

Open up a crow bar? (ba-dum-bump)

I'm surprised that there are actually multiple web sites that list how to attract crows--I'd assume most people would conciser them to be pests. Here's one page--apparently step 3 is playing a holophonor.

(Are you sure you are in the right place to see crows this time of year? Do crows migrate yearly?)

Quasimodem 02-10-2017 05:39 PM

I may be wrong, but I don't believe American crows migrate. Besides, we've heard them in the mornings lately.

No cymbal crash? :)

And thanks for the link, I've seen some crow calls, but I wouldn't want to appear condescending or be laughed at by them. :D

ASGuy 02-10-2017 10:01 PM

Are You Out There?
 
Crows evoke a neutral response from me, so I have no desire to actively attract them. But, if the spirits are out there, there is one crow I would like to see. My brother was fascinated with genus corvus. Sufficiently so that many of his friends and business associates remembered it at his memorial service in 1999.

If you are flying around somewhere I would welcome a visit. R.I.P. Big Brother.

Quasimodem 02-10-2017 10:27 PM

I acknowledge what you wrote with the utmost respect, AsGuy.

Although I don't know if your brother will ever visit you in the guise of a crow or raven, I hope it happens for you. There is so much we do not yet know about "them", but it sure seems they mean us no harm.

Collective Nouns: Crow ---- A Murder of Crows.
Raven --- A Kindness of Ravens.

Quasi

Chefguy 02-10-2017 11:37 PM

Raw peanuts in the shell. They love them. I put them out for the scrub jays, and a couple of crows always show up for the party.

John Mace 02-10-2017 11:39 PM

I had a similar idea a few years ago, and I started leaving almonds out in my backyard everyday about the time this flock of crows typically was flying around. Then I decided I didn't want a bunch of crows shitting all over my backyard every day. :D

Quasimodem 02-11-2017 12:10 AM

Hahaha! I LOVE it, John!

Honestly, I don't know why I suddenly took such an interest in crows and birds in general (I also love cardinals); I think it has something to do with motivating myself a little more. I don't like to leave my wife where I cannot see her, so we both got to be somewhat "sedentary", I reckon.

Chefguy, in addition to the pleasure of seeing you again, I will be sure to follow your advice. The hog meat is now (12:07 am) finally thawed, and I will put that out later in the morning.

Just a thought: I would never have thought that "bird-watching/care" would excite me this much at this point in my life! What's going on here?:)

Q

Ignotus 02-11-2017 12:19 AM

I have two cats. The crows love to taunt them!

IvoryTowerDenizen 02-11-2017 12:26 AM

I read crows as cows.

Oops!

Quasimodem 02-11-2017 12:28 AM

That's what I would expect from such clever birds, Ignotus, and it makes me smile to imagine it. It almost makes me think of a Walt Disney film where the birds do talk.

Here's one more question and hopefully you and my other birder-friends can answer it: Do crows have the ability to mimick human speech like a Minah?

Quasimodem 02-11-2017 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen (Post 19992534)
I read crows as cows.

Oops!

Next time I see one on a branch, I'll let him/her know that, ITD. After I do I'll have to buy hamburger meat, I'm sure! :)

But you bring up an important point: Crows are scavengers, right, so I guess a bunch of cattle on a drive and their splats would be a "smorgasbord" for them, or are they a little more choosy than that?

rat avatar 02-11-2017 01:13 AM

It really depends on what the available food source is, if food is scarce pea sized dog food kibble will attract them but note that you can attract individuals and groups if you establish trust by letting them see you place high value foods out for them. Live food like earthworms can really teach them to watch you and start to build trust. Cheese and fresh fruit also are good but having something that is alive really helps.

Note that crows can remember and recognize faces for years, and if you get one to vouch for you it will end in a murder.

http://www.nwf.org/news-and-magazine...ing-faces.aspx

I had a crazy dog that use to carry individual kibble out onto the back porch one by one, then go out and eat them from time to tom. The crows figured this out and would grab a few while she was in the moving phase. After my dog passed I would carry pieces out and they would fly in to grab them almost from my hand.

One individual crow had a very distinct injury and visited for years. As they can also learn to talk I would always say "never more, never more" while feeding them. I never heard them talk back to me but I hopeful that maybe they did say "never more" to someone.

Maastricht 02-11-2017 01:45 AM

Be careful, though, and check with your neighbours first. https://www.google.nl/amp/io9.gizmod...?client=safari


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Quasimodem 02-11-2017 01:50 AM

I can tell no one here has learned a thing. It was a legitimate question, in the correct section, but what the hell, right?

One will always encounter a piece of shit who will not even take the trouble to let someone know it's a joke.

As I said, no one's learned a fucking thing.

Weisshund 02-11-2017 03:32 AM

Honestly, put anything out there you do not want them to eat, and they will come eat it.

The silly things come and eat with my ducks and chickens, some times they will attempt to steal an egg, but i let them have one if the chickens dont chase them off of it, from 60 or more chicken and duck eggs a week i wont miss a few.

They seem to like the chicken feed, and corn on the cob, and cabbage, and shredded carrots

Darren Garrison 02-11-2017 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19992537)
Do crows have the ability to mimick human speech like a Minah?

Okay, now I'm convinced that there is a dope thread for everything.

gogogophers 02-11-2017 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19992612)
I can tell no one here has learned a thing. It was a legitimate question, in the correct section, but what the hell, right?

One will always encounter a piece of shit who will not even take the trouble to let someone know it's a joke.

As I said, no one's learned a fucking thing.

What prompted this?

6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 02-11-2017 10:43 AM

Quasi, when they turn up please call one of them Russell.

Johnny L.A. 02-11-2017 10:47 AM

I tossed popcorn or peanuts in the shell onto the back lawn. Lately I've been tossing one peanut to crows that land on the roof and look at me when I'm hanging out on the deck. I reckon those are the ones who are most used to me, and I want to reward them.

Chefguy 02-11-2017 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weisshund (Post 19992678)
Honestly, put anything out there you do not want them to eat, and they will come eat it.

The silly things come and eat with my ducks and chickens, some times they will attempt to steal an egg, but i let them have one if the chickens dont chase them off of it, from 60 or more chicken and duck eggs a week i wont miss a few.

They seem to like the chicken feed, and corn on the cob, and cabbage, and shredded carrots

Yeah, they're scavengers and carrion eaters. I saw one snacking on a pile of dog barf yesterday. Always had an affinity for corvids; ravens and magpies are common in Alaska, where I grew up.

kayaker 02-11-2017 11:02 AM

We feed the deer and turkeys shelled corn. Whatever they do not eat, the crows clean up.

Quasimodem 02-11-2017 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gogogophers (Post 19992983)
What prompted this?

e-mail

gogogophers 02-11-2017 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19993283)
e-mail

Nice to know... I was simply curious, because your statements were completely out of context and inappropriate for what had been posted.

Must have been one heck of an email.

Colibri 02-11-2017 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19992612)
I can tell no one here has learned a thing. It was a legitimate question, in the correct section, but what the hell, right?

One will always encounter a piece of shit who will not even take the trouble to let someone know it's a joke.

As I said, no one's learned a fucking thing.

Moderator Note

Quasimodem, I'm glad to see you posting again, but this post is entirely out of line for this forum. I don't see anything in previous posts that might have prompted this, and even if it was provoked by an email it should have been responded to privately.

Please consider carefully what you post here.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Quasimodem 02-11-2017 02:52 PM

Forgot the rules, I apologize.

Q

Colibri 02-11-2017 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19993509)
Forgot the rules, I apologize.

Q

Apology accepted. Just be careful in the future.

Maastricht 02-11-2017 03:16 PM

Neighbour has a big bucket of water standing out in a quiet place. Crows come to that water to soften hard dry crusts of bread, and sometimes they leave pieces of a prey in the water,


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Quasimodem 02-11-2017 03:35 PM

I'm going to move the feeder from that old bench swing set to a nearby magnolia tree soon. I'm thinking the birds can't get their footing well enough on the smooth iron, even though the feeder itself has rungs all around it.

Today I also put out some scrap meat and a metal bowl filled with water. Guess I need to keep that bowl filled all the way. I wouldn't want anyone falling in.

Unless they're way early (while we're still asleep) I haven't heard or seen any of my crow buddies yet. It may be that I'll have to "prove" myself much the way I did here with my very first post asking what the words were that end in "gry", which caused me untold heartache from some veteran Dopers who may have thought I was trolling. :)

So this is day two and I put out those Wild Hog Sausage scraps which, if the weather were warmer would probably get rancid after a few days.

I looked up the thread mentioned earlier in this one, and a Doper added the witticism, "Quoth The Raven, 'Eat My Shorts'." :) I hope that wasn't the reason he was banned!

Q

gogogophers 02-12-2017 02:22 AM

Q: Your email inspired comment threw me off track, as I was about to reply to your wonderful (previous) posts.

How about a MASS murder?:) For the past two weeks, we have been inundated by crows here. THOUSANDS of them. They begin to amass towards sundown in one spot with raucous crow talk, then, break up into smaller groups of perhaps one hundred each to roost for the night in nearby trees behind our house. We have lived on a ridge overlooking a small Appalachian town and have never experienced this "invasion" before. Each evening, it actually sounds like a train wreck for awhile...

Like you, I've wondered over the years how to befriend a crow or two. Now, with hordes of them at my doorstep, I'm not so sure...

Per your blog, I hope You and your Wife are doing well.

gogogophers 02-12-2017 02:34 AM

Dammit, missed the edit timeout again.

Should have said: "We have lived on a ridge overlooking a small Appalachian town for 30 years..."

Quasimodem 02-12-2017 03:10 AM

My advice? Be patient. Nature has a way of evening things out.

In the words of the great George Carlin, "The Earth will be fine. It's the PEOPLE who will be screwed."

[cleaned up a bit]

And don't write me any more false ID e-mails either, people. I'm tired of this crap. If you want to know something, ask me in your real DOPE name OUT LOUD or leave it alone. I'm busy painting and writing and playing songs. I don't have TIME for this. Thanks for understanding.

Quasimodem

gogogophers 02-12-2017 04:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19994551)
My advice? Be patient. Nature has a way of evening things out.Quasimodem

I'm counting on it.
My advice to you for attracting crows... Stale bread and whole shell peanuts + patience. Maybe that is the source of my problem right now...

Johnny L.A. 02-12-2017 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19994551)
In the words of the great George Carlin, "The Earth will be fine. It's the PEOPLE who will be screwed."

Or as I've put it over the years, 'It's not the End of the World. I't just the End of Us.' (I didn't know Carlin said something similar.)

Enola Gay 02-12-2017 09:05 PM

I leave cat food out for some outdoor cats and the crows are always eating it.

JXJohns 02-13-2017 11:52 AM

We used to hunt crows. We used a few crow decoys, an owl decoy and a mouth call along with some shelled corn. Once we got one close, and got the call going, we'd have a respectable sized murder in no time.

WOOKINPANUB 02-13-2017 02:31 PM

I'd love to attract crows to my yard as well. I have three feeders that attract cardinals, bluejays, pigeons and all kinds of wild birds while the crows hang out and squawk in the trees in the neighbor's yard. I know they can't be afraid of my old cat (none of the birds are). What do they have against my yard, I wonder?

Irishman 02-14-2017 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19992537)
Do crows have the ability to mimick human speech like a Minah?

Yes. My dad had a crow that could say "Bob crows hot."


Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 2710155)
I even saw one site that mentioned a Blue Jay that was able to talk, although it could say only one word.

I don't know about talking - ours never learned it. But they are pretty good mimics. Our crow and blue jay would mimic each other. The blue jay would sound like a crow way across the yard up in a tree, and our crow would sound like a 40 lb blue jay.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quasimodem (Post 19993612)
So this is day two and I put out those Wild Hog Sausage scraps which, if the weather were warmer would probably get rancid after a few days.

Crows are scavengers, rancid helps them find it.

purplehearingaid 02-14-2017 04:45 PM

I like crows too and use to put out bread for them , they started to recognize me when I was taking my dog out . A crow would wait on a light pole for me and when I went outside the crow would start cawing to let the others crows food was coming , I would have to run back inside and get some bread sometimes.
A neighbor told me that the crows were waking her up at 5:30 AM by cawing so I had to stop feeding them.
Crows like to wash their meals off before eating it . I kept finding body parts of animals in my bird bath and had no idea who or what was doing this until someone told me on another forum . I had seen crows dropping body parts in the birdbath ! :eek: So when it get warmer out side up a bowl with water and hang birdfeeder near it so the crows will know they have a place to wash their meals. You could start picking roadkills and leaving it in your yard for the crows. :)

kayaker 02-15-2017 07:00 AM

If you have enough crows in your yard, chances are you'll see one with one or a few white feathers.

The first one I saw freaked me out, but looking around online, I saw it wasn't too unusual.

I've also seen a piebald deer.

tfabris 02-15-2017 04:31 PM

You don't need to put up a special feeder for them. A bowl will do.

We put out a small bowl of dog kibble for them. Small kibble intended for puppies seems to be preferred by the crows. They love the kibble, and after a while they even git picky about which kibble pieces they prefer. We place the bowl of kibble on a lawn-furniture plastic table on the back porch, right outside the breakfast nook window. That way, we can watch them up close if we want. They are skittish at first, but eventually are OK with us walking up fairly close to the window to watch them.

Don't forget to also put out a clean bowl of water too. Crows need water as much as food, and you'll often see them dunking their food in the water dish, which is adorable.

Research done at the university here in Seattle has shown that they recognize faces, and even teach their kids which are the good humans and which are the bad ones. After you feed them enough, they'll start to recognize you and trust you more. We've found this to be true in our experience. My girlfriend brings a small baggie of kibble on her walk to work in the morning, and they'll follow her and play with her. She's even written a song about it. Lyrics: https://vixy.dreamwidth.org/794522.html Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nAKYR4sTg8

We only get a few crows at a time at the dish. We don't try to do a large scale feeding operation, just a little kibble in a small bowl during the day. They land on the porch's handrail, taxi in to the table, hop down, eat a bit, then take a few extra pieces to go cache somewhere (several pieces stacked up carefully in their beak in a straight line). It's very cute to watch them caching food. For instance, they'll put the food in the grass, pick up a leaf, place the leaf atop the cached food, then give the leaf a little "pat pat pat" with their beak, seeming to say "no one will find it here!". They'll also cache in the rain gutters of our house or nearby houses.

Do this long enough, and you'll start to recognize the juvenile crows from the adult crows when they come around in the spring. Juveniles are skinnier and scrawnier, and they have a different voice: Juveniles sound like a crow with a kazoo. In particular, it's funny to watch the juveniles follow the parents around and beg to be fed. By the time the juveniles get to this point where they're out of the nest and following the parents around, you can tell the parents are sick and tired of feeding them, and they're trying to show them "look, the food is right there, just take it".

The only problem with feeding the crows is when the same food attracts other animals you don't want. We're OK with other birds or squirrels. Seagulls come too, which are a slight problem since they bully the crows, but the seagulls are not as much of a problem as the raccoons. At first the raccoons were cute, but then they got aggressive and started trying to claw their way in into the back door, and pooping on the back porch. Our best defense seems to be: Don't put out too much food. Make sure that the crows and other birds clean their plate by the time the sun sets. Then the raccoons never have anything to eat, so they stop coming around as much.

purplehearingaid 02-15-2017 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tfabris (Post 20003151)
You don't need to put up a special feeder for them. A bowl will do.

We put out a small bowl of dog kibble for them. Small kibble intended for puppies seems to be preferred by the crows. They love the kibble, and after a while they even git picky about which kibble pieces they prefer. We place the bowl of kibble on a lawn-furniture plastic table on the back porch, right outside the breakfast nook window. That way, we can watch them up close if we want. They are skittish at first, but eventually are OK with us walking up fairly close to the window to watch them.

Don't forget to also put out a clean bowl of water too. Crows need water as much as food, and you'll often see them dunking their food in the water dish, which is adorable.

Research done at the university here in Seattle has shown that they recognize faces, and even teach their kids which are the good humans and which are the bad ones. After you feed them enough, they'll start to recognize you and trust you more. We've found this to be true in our experience. My girlfriend brings a small baggie of kibble on her walk to work in the morning, and they'll follow her and play with her. She's even written a song about it. Lyrics: https://vixy.dreamwidth.org/794522.html Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nAKYR4sTg8

We only get a few crows at a time at the dish. We don't try to do a large scale feeding operation, just a little kibble in a small bowl during the day. They land on the porch's handrail, taxi in to the table, hop down, eat a bit, then take a few extra pieces to go cache somewhere (several pieces stacked up carefully in their beak in a straight line). It's very cute to watch them caching food. For instance, they'll put the food in the grass, pick up a leaf, place the leaf atop the cached food, then give the leaf a little "pat pat pat" with their beak, seeming to say "no one will find it here!". They'll also cache in the rain gutters of our house or nearby houses.

Do this long enough, and you'll start to recognize the juvenile crows from the adult crows when they come around in the spring. Juveniles are skinnier and scrawnier, and they have a different voice: Juveniles sound like a crow with a kazoo. In particular, it's funny to watch the juveniles follow the parents around and beg to be fed. By the time the juveniles get to this point where they're out of the nest and following the parents around, you can tell the parents are sick and tired of feeding them, and they're trying to show them "look, the food is right there, just take it".

The only problem with feeding the crows is when the same food attracts other animals you don't want. We're OK with other birds or squirrels. Seagulls come too, which are a slight problem since they bully the crows, but the seagulls are not as much of a problem as the raccoons. At first the raccoons were cute, but then they got aggressive and started trying to claw their way in into the back door, and pooping on the back porch. Our best defense seems to be: Don't put out too much food. Make sure that the crows and other birds clean their plate by the time the sun sets. Then the raccoons never have anything to eat, so they stop coming around as much.

I didn't think it was adorable when I was finding body parts of animals in my birdbath the crows left there ! I end up having a mess of flies all over my birdbath too. I like crows but I hated finding animals legs ,heads and god know what the hell floating in my birdbath. :eek: The birds weren't too happy about it ether .
I had to shut down my birdbath for a few days hoping the crows would find another water source . This didn't work . I wish I knew of a way to keep the crows out of my birdbath this summer .

tfabris 02-15-2017 05:19 PM

Interesting. We haven't had a problem with anything like that, our crows seem to be pretty "neat" overall (certainly a lot neater than the raccoons), but we don't have a birdbath either. I could see how cleaning body parts out of a birdbath would be an annoying problem.


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