How to Keep Crows Away from Bird Feeders

Crows are known for their intelligence and complex behaviors. Although it can be fun and interesting to watch the big black birds, it can be annoying when they take over your bird feeder and cause damage to your yard. They might make it harder for different kinds of birds to visit your yard, which isn’t ideal if you like seeing lots of different birds. There are, however, some easy things you can do to stop crows from taking over your outdoor space and make it a better place for a variety of birds to live together.

One effective method is to carefully select the type of feeder you use. Crows are less interested in food sources that are difficult to access or not designed for their size. Crows will also be less likely to bother your feeders if you take steps to protect them, like putting them somewhere they can’t easily get to. Crows won’t be able to get to the food if you hang feeders in a way that makes it hard for them to get in, place them in a way that makes them less appealing, and offer food that doesn’t appeal to them.

For bird lovers filling feeders provides an enjoyable way to help local birds survive and thrive. However, crows flocking to the free food can quickly become a nuisance. Their large size and appetite allow crows to dominate feeders scaring smaller birds away and rapidly consuming the seed.

To enjoy bird feeding without attracting mobs of crows, here are some effective tips to keep them away from your feeders:

Use Caged or Covered Feeders

The most direct way to restrict crow access is to use specialty feeders designed with integrated cages or covers. These allow smaller birds like chickadees, finches, and sparrows to reach the seed while excluding larger crows.

Look for feeders advertised as “crow-proof” or “squirrel-proof” The protective mesh prevents crows from perching on or covering the feeder openings Dome-style feeders also limit access,

Hang feeders with cages or covers in open areas away from trees and overhangs where crows could potentially reach the feeder from above.

Add Wire Cages to Existing Feeders

If you already have open feeders, it’s easy to retrofit them with protective cages. Use stiff 2×4 inch welded wire mesh to create cylinders that fit neatly around hanging feeders.

Attach the wire securely to the feeder hanger or shepherd’s hook so the cage stays centered around the feeding ports. Make sure the mesh openings are small enough that crows cannot squeeze through or poke their heads in.

This is an affordable DIY solution for excluding crows without having to replace your existing feeders. Match the cage proportions to each unique feeder style.

Use Multiple Smaller Feeders

Rather than one or two large community feeders, distribute abundant smaller feeders around your yard. Provide enough that demand is spread out, reducing squabbling and dominance by crows.

More feeders also allow you to place them in discrete areas hidden by vegetation that crows tend to avoid but smaller birds can access. Having multiple feeders makes it harder for crows to monopolize them all.

Offer Less Preferred Foods

Crows flock most aggressively to feeds with their favorite foods like peanuts, sunflower seeds, and corn. Offering more nyjer seed, safflower, millet, and mixed blends with less of their top picks can deter crows.

They also dislike hot spicy flavors, so consider adding bird feed seasonings with chili peppers to make the food less appetizing to crows.

Use Feeders With Weight Mechanisms

Specialized feeders have perches that trigger seed access based on the bird’s weight. Adjust them so crows are too heavy to activate the mechanism, while smaller birds can eat freely.

These feeders are very effective at selectively allowing lightweight songbirds while locking out both crows and heavier squirrels. Just be sure lighter doves and blackbirds cannot access the food either.

Employ Scare Devices

Visually frightening crows away from your feeders can teach them to avoid the area. Scare tape, flashing lights, and foil strips create discomfort and a sense of danger.

You can also install motion-activated sprinklers or noisemakers near your feeder zone. When crows land, they get sprayed or startled by sounds. This trains them to associate the feeders with unpleasant surprises.

Block Perching and Roosting

Crows scout for food opportunistically from preferred perches. Discourage them from lingering near feeders by eliminating handy perching sites:

  • Trim overhanging branches above or near feeders

  • Install anti-perching spikes on ledges, posts, and roof edges

  • Use sticky bird repellent gel on potential perches

  • Block night roosts in trees near feeders with netting

  • Remove feeders at night when not in use to avoid drawing crows

Without convenient observation points, crows are less likely to spot your feeder activity.

Hold Off Refilling When Crows Appear

Crows learn routines and return to reliable food sources. When they show up at your feeder, resist the urge to top it off.

Temporarily take the feeder down or let it remain empty until crows lose interest and move on. Then, return the feeder or fill it once crows are no longer staking it out. Avoid establishing a pattern crows can exploit.

Offer Alternate Feeding Stations

You may keep crows satisfied and away from songbird feeders by providing dedicated crow feeding stations. Offer inexpensive grains like cracked corn, millet, or wheat in platform feeders, spaced well away from songbird setups.

Supplying alternate foods reduces motivation for crows to compete at your other feeders. Just be sure to clean up any spilled grains to prevent attracting rodents.

With a diversity of tailored approaches, you can successfully enjoy backyard bird feeding without the headaches of pesky crows. A bit of cleverness and consistency will encourage crows to seek sustenance elsewhere, giving your songbirds free rein to benefit from your generosity.

Strategies to outsmart crows

Crows are clever birds, so its crucial to understand their behavior and preferences to deter them. For example, you can choose feeders that are hard for crows to use, like ones with weight-sensitive perches or mechanisms that can be adjusted. This way, smaller birds can easily access the food and crows cannot. You could also get bird feeders with cages, mesh covers, or domes that act as physical barriers or safety features to keep crows away and give smaller birds a safe place to eat. Additionally, shorter perches and strategic placement can further discourage crows from a feeder.

Another useful trick is to give birds food that crows don’t like, like safflower seeds, which many other bird species do. Select feeders with sturdy construction that can withstand crows attempts to knock them down. Ultimately, the key to creating a crow-resistant feeding environment is to outsmart their problem-solving skills. If you are careful about how you set up your bird feeder, you can make it a safe and peaceful place for the birds that come to your garden and for you to enjoy.

How to to keep crows off your bird feeder


How do you get rid of crows but not other birds?

Devices with reflective surfaces that spin or flap in the breeze can frighten crows. Buy them or make yourself—string up aluminum pie tins or discarded CDs around vulnerable plants or tie helium-filled Mylar party balloons around your garden. Playing recorded crow distress calls disperses crows.

What scares crows away from bird feeders?

Implement bird feeder designs that discourage large birds like crows from accessing the food. Additionally, you can use scare tactics like hanging shiny objects or using scarecrow-like structures to make the area less appealing to crows.

What do crows hate the most?

Crows hate shiny and reflective things, as they may look like weapons or fire to these smart birds. CDs, disposable aluminum pans, or mylar balloons are great options are popular options for homeowners. Place these objects around your property, or hang them from wash lines or trees.

What is the best bird scarer for crows?

Crows and Rooks are instinctively afraid of the Peregrine Hawk Kite. The Hawk Kite is very effective for Crow Control. It has been used for crow and rook control in London, Manchester, Notingham, Bristol and across the U.K. Europe and North America.

Do bird feeders keep crows out?

Feeders that can keep crows out are called Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeders. To keep crows away from your feeders, you should utilize squirrel-proof bird feeders. A squirrel-proof feeder is a type of feeder in which the food, such as peanuts, suet, or seed, is placed in the middle of a wire cage with the food in the center.

How do you stop crows from eating bird food?

There are several ways to stop crows from eating bird food such as using a feeding station with a weight-sensitive perch, using a feeder with a guard, using a squirrel baffle, using a specific type of feeder, feeding at specific times, moving your feeder around, removing spilled seed, and using crow decoys. What is a natural way to repel crows?

How do I keep crows out of my feeder?

Choose a mesh size that allows desired birds to pass through while keeping crows out. Using a cage over your ground feeders is especially useful for protecting specific food sources like corn, a favorite treat for many birds but also particularly attractive to crows.

How do you keep crows away from a suet feeder?

Make sure your suet feeder has a protective cover to keep it safe from larger birds and squirrels. Weight-sensitive feeders can be an effective solution to keep crows and other large birds away from your seeds. These feeders close the feeding ports when a heavier bird, like a crow, lands on the perch.

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