How to Keep Crows Away from Bird Feeders: Expert Tips and Solutions

Crows are intelligent birds that can often become a nuisance around bird feeders. Their tendency to bully smaller birds and their large appetites make them unwelcome guests in many backyard sanctuaries. As bird lovers, we need effective strategies to keep crows at bay to maintain the tranquility and diversity of our bird feeder areas.

Understanding crows and their behavior can help us develop appropriate methods for deterring them from bird feeders. By using the right types of bird feeders, choosing specific bird seeds, and employing visual and auditory techniques, we can create a crow-free environment for our feathered friends. Maintaining cleanliness and setting up physical barriers also contribute to a successful bird-watching experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose appropriate bird feeders and seeds to discourage crows while attracting smaller birds.
  • Employ visual and auditory techniques for additional crow deterrence.
  • Keep the bird feeder area clean and set up physical barriers for a crow-free space.

Understand Crows’ Behavior

Crows are highly intelligent and social birds that can be found in various habitats, including cities, forests, and grasslands. They’re highly adaptable to their environment, which is one of the reasons why they can be challenging to keep away from bird feeders.

As omnivores, crows have a diverse diet, which includes seeds, fruits, insects, and even small animals. It’s important to note that if they find a reliable food source, such as a bird feeder, they’re likely to call upon their friends to share in the feast, which can quickly deplete the food supply meant for smaller birds.

Their social nature means that crows tend to flock together, which can be intimidating to other bird species. When crows congregate around your bird feeder, it’s not uncommon for the smaller birds to become reluctant to approach, leading to a less diverse bird population in your area.

Being aware of crows’ behaviors, such as their diet, social habits, and adaptability, can help inform strategies on how to keep them away from your bird feeder. By understanding their preferences and tendencies, you’ll be better equipped to create an environment that caters to the smaller bird species while discouraging crows from taking over.

Read Next: How to Keep Blackbirds Away from Bird Feeder

Types of Bird Feeders

When considering the types of bird feeders that will help deter crows, it’s essential to be aware of different options and select those most suited to the birds you want to attract. In this section, we’ll introduce some popular bird feeder styles and discuss their suitability for keeping crows away while providing for songbirds and other desired birds.

Tube feeders are a great choice for keeping crows at bay because they’re designed for smaller birds such as finches, chickadees, and other songbirds. These feeders usually have smaller perches or mesh openings that make it difficult for larger birds like crows to access the seeds. Tube feeders work well with a variety of seed types, including thistle and safflower seeds, which are known to be unattractive to crows.

Hopper feeders typically house a large quantity of seed beneath a sloping roof, which provides some cover for your birds. These feeders can be hung from a pole or mounted on a tree and are well-loved by various songbirds for their convenient feeding access. To help keep crows away, try filling hopper feeders with safflower seeds, because crows find these less appealing than other seed types.

Suet feeders are another option to consider if you want to attract a broader range of birds, such as woodpeckers and nuthatches, without inviting crows. Suet feeders hold blocks of fat mixed with seeds, nuts, and fruits, providing a high-energy food source for birds. Crows are less attracted to suet compared to other types of feeders filled with seeds. 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. Smaller, lighter songbirds can still access the seeds without any problem, making these feeders an excellent option for attracting desired bird species.

To further discourage crows from visiting your bird feeders, consider placing feeders near trees or shrubs to provide natural cover for smaller birds; this makes it more challenging for crows to access the feeder. Remember that selecting the right type of bird feeder, along with the appropriate seed mix, cover, and positioning, will help create a welcoming and crow-free environment for your favorite songbirds.

Choosing the Right Bird Seeds

One of the key factors in keeping crows away from your bird feeders is selecting the right type of bird seeds that will not attract them. By offering a food source that is less appealing to crows but still nutritious for other birds, you can effectively deter crows without compromising the feeding of smaller birds.

Sunflower seeds are a popular choice for bird feeders, but they can also attract crows. To avoid this issue, consider using safflower seeds instead. These seeds are slightly bitter, making them unattractive to crows while still being nutritious and appealing to smaller birds like finches and cardinals.

Another alternative is to provide a mix of seeds that cater to specific bird species and their preferences. For instance, seedlings and caterpillars are excellent food sources for insectivorous birds. Such species can help control insect populations in your garden while not being attractive to crows.

When choosing bird seeds, avoid mixes with large grains such as corn or wheat, as these can be particularly appealing to crows. Instead, opt for smaller seeds like millet or thistle, which are more suitable for the beaks of smaller birds and less attractive to larger birds like crows.

In addition to seed selection, consider adding other food sources such as mealworms, fruit, and grubs to attract a diverse range of bird species. This will not only enhance the overall bird-watching experience but also help maintain a balanced ecosystem in your backyard.

By carefully selecting the right bird seeds and offering a variety of food sources, you can confidently provide a welcoming and crow-free environment for the beautiful birds that visit your backyard.

Deterring Crows with Visual Techniques

Crows are intelligent creatures that can be a nuisance around bird feeders. To protect your feeders from these unwelcome visitors, try using visual techniques such as shiny objects, decoys, and scarecrows.

Use Shiny Objects

Add some sparkle to your bird feeder area with shiny objects that deter crows. Crows don’t like shiny things because they can be reflective and confusing to them. Some items you can use include:

  • CDs: Hang them from the branches or around the feeder to catch sunlight.
  • Mylar balloons: Inflate them, and place them near the feeder.
  • Silverware: Tie some old spoons and forks together and hang them nearby.
  • Ribbons: Opt for shiny, metallic ribbons to tie around trees and bushes.
  • Halloween decorations: Reflective items, such as tinsel garlands, can be repurposed in your yard.

These objects will catch the sunlight or move with the breeze, creating an uninviting environment for crows.

Implement Decoys

Decoys like plastic owls, hawks, and even rubber coyotes can help keep crows away from your bird feeders. These lifelike predators are effective at scaring crows due to their realistic appearance and movements. Make sure you move your decoys around regularly, as crows can catch on if they remain stationary for too long.

Add Scarecrows

Scarecrows can be another effective way to deter crows from your bird feeders. Traditional scarecrows with straw and human-like features work, but you can also get creative with your designs. Personalize your scarecrow to fit your yard’s theme and change its outfit or position to keep things fresh for the crows.

By utilizing shiny objects, decoys, and scarecrows, you can create an unwelcoming environment for crows around your bird feeders while maintaining a safe and inviting space for other birds.

Distracting Crows with Auditory Strategies

To effectively keep crows away from bird feeders, one can utilize auditory strategies. These methods involve the use of sounds that crows find unappealing or alarming, deterring them from approaching your bird feeder. In this section, we will discuss two key approaches: high sounds and noises, and distress calls.

High Sounds and Noises

Crows are known to be sensitive to loud, high-pitched sounds. Some options for creating such noises include:

  • Wind chimes: Placing wind chimes near your bird feeder can produce a continuous, unpredictable sound that disrupts the comfort of crows in the area.
  • Noisemakers: Devices like noisemakers and alarms can be installed around the bird feeder. These produce loud noises that can effectively deter crows without impacting smaller birds.

By using high sounds and noises, you create an unwelcoming environment for crows while maintaining a safe haven for other birds.

Distress Calls

Another strategy to deter crows is to play recorded distress calls of crows or other birds. The sounds of distress mimic natural alarm signals, making crows feel threatened or unsafe in the feeder’s vicinity. Some guidelines for using distress calls effectively are:

  1. Play calls intermittently: Do not play the distress calls continuously. It is more effective to play them at random intervals to simulate realistic scenarios and avoid habituation.
  2. Consider mixing calls: Use a mix of both crow distress calls and those of other birds. This strengthens the impression of danger, increasing the likelihood crows will steer clear of the area.
  3. Adjust volume: Keep in mind that distress calls should be loud enough for crows to hear but not so loud that they disturb your neighbors or other birds.

By employing auditory strategies such as high sounds and distress calls, you can effectively minimize crow visits to your bird feeders and create a more bird-friendly environment for other species.

Maintaining a Clean Environment

Keeping your surroundings clean is essential in deterring crows from invading your bird feeders. Start by properly disposing of trash and food waste. Ensure that you use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent crows from accessing food scraps. Store these trash cans in a secure area, away from bird feeders and trees where crows may roost.

Next, manage your compost and yard waste effectively, as these can also attract crows. Cover compost piles and consider using a compost bin to prevent access to food sources. Regularly dispose of yard waste like fallen leaves, branches, and grass clippings to maintain cleanliness in your garden.

Moreover, be mindful of any pet food or outdoor food storage. Crows are resourceful and will scavenge anything within their reach. Store pet food in sealed containers and avoid leaving it out where crows can find it.

By maintaining a clean and well-organized outdoor environment, you can make your yard less appealing to crows while still providing a welcoming space for smaller songbirds. This approach makes it difficult for crows to find readily available food sources, ultimately encouraging them to search elsewhere.

Physical Barriers to Ward Off Crows

When dealing with crows, physical barriers can be an effective way to protect your bird feeders without harming the birds. In this section, we will discuss two methods to discourage crows from invading your bird feeders: Bird Netting and Spikes, and installing a Cage over Ground Feeders.

Bird Netting and Spikes

Bird netting can be a beneficial deterrent against crows. With proper placement and securing, bird netting can keep crows from reaching your bird feeders, while still allowing smaller birds access. Ensure that the netting holes are small enough so that crows cannot fit through, but large enough for your desired birds to pass.

Another option is to use bird spikes. These anti-roosting, anti-perching devices can be installed around your bird feeder area, deterring crows from landing. Bird spikes can be attached using screws, glue, or by tying them down. Available in various widths, these plastic spikes will not harm or injure the crows but will make it uncomfortable for them to perch or loiter around your feeder.

Cage over Ground Feeders

An alternative method for keeping crows away from your bird feeders is to place a cage over ground feeders. This cage should be constructed from materials that will not harm the birds, such as wire mesh. 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. By enclosing the ground feeder within a cage, you can still provide nourishment to other birds while minimizing the risk of attracting troublesome crows.

Remember, it is essential to maintain a balance that protects your bird feeders without causing harm to any of the birds. Using methods like bird netting, bird spikes, and cages over ground feeders can help achieve this balance and keep crows at bay, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful bird-watching experience.

Expert Tips for a Crow-Free Bird Feeder Area

Creating a crow-free bird feeder area is crucial in order to provide a safe and peaceful environment for smaller birds to enjoy their meals. By implementing a variety of techniques and methods, you can deter crows from visiting your bird feeders and maintain a harmonious backyard habitat for all bird species.

Using a crow-proof bird feeder is an ideal way to keep those pesky crows at bay. One practical option is to combine two hanging baskets to create a cage-like structure. Fill the feeder with seeds, and place it between the baskets for an extra layer of protection. This will allow smaller birds to access the seeds while preventing crows from reaching them.

Another option is to invest in an anti-crow device. These devices are designed to create a barrier between crows and bird feeders, making it difficult for the larger birds to access the food. Crow Bars are highly effective and can significantly reduce crow presence around your feeders.

Here are some additional tips to keep crows away from your bird feeders:

  • Choose the right type of food: Crows are particularly attracted to certain kinds of food, such as fruits and peanuts. By offering seeds that appeal to smaller birds, you can significantly reduce crow presence. Sunflower seeds, millet, and thistle are especially popular among smaller birds.
  • Use a baffle: Crows are known for their intelligence and can easily solve problems. Adding a baffle to your bird feeder can increase the difficulty for crows to reach the bird feed. This may deter them from returning to your bird feeder area.
  • Adjust the feeder location: Crows are less likely to feed in areas where they feel unsafe or exposed. By placing bird feeders close to shrubs or bushes, you can create a cover for smaller birds and discourage crows from approaching.
  • Restrict access: Limiting the size of bird feeder openings can make it challenging for crows to access the seeds. Opt for feeders with smaller ports or mesh wiring that allows smaller birds to dine without sharing their meal with crows.

Following these expert tips, you can successfully create a crow-free bird feeder area that caters to smaller birds while keeping pests like crows at a safe distance. Remember to be patient and consistent in your efforts, as it may take some time for changes to take effect and create the ideal bird-friendly environment in your yard.

Alternative Prey for Crows

Crows have diverse tastes and can ravage various plants and smaller animals in a garden. By providing alternative prey for crows, you can save your bird feeders and the backyard birds you love. A thriving garden with an assortment of plants, insects, and small animals keeps crows satisfied and prevents them from raiding bird feeders.

Attracting alternative prey can help gardeners and bird enthusiasts make their yards less accessible to crows. Focus on plants that provide food sources that appeal more to other birds than crows. For example, jays love fruits such as cherries and berries, making these plants a suitable diversion. Thistle and safflower seeds are also effective at deterring crows but will be appreciated by other backyard birds.

Creating habitats for other bird species can also help protect your bird feeders. For example, hummingbirds are attracted to tubular and brightly colored flowers that produce nectar. Planting these types of flowers encourages hummingbirds to visit your garden while remaining unattractive to crows.

Additionally, consider attracting pigeons to your garden, as they often compete with crows for resources. Although pigeons may also frequent bird feeders, they are less likely to scare away other backyard birds and bully them in the way crows do. You can create a pigeon-friendly environment by setting up roosts and offering grains and seeds that pigeons prefer.

Remember to maintain a clean and healthy ecosystem in your garden. Predatory birds like crows feed on sick or injured animals. Keeping your backyard birds healthy and safe from predators encourages a harmonious environment for both gardeners and their feathered visitors.


In order to effectively keep crows away from your bird feeders, there are several strategies worth considering. One option is to include thistle and safflower seeds in your bird feed mix, as crows tend to dislike these seeds. By providing food that is unappealing to crows, they will likely lose interest in your bird feeders.

Another tactic involves utilizing various deterrent strategies such as scarecrows and visual bird scaring devices. These approaches can confuse and dissuade crows from approaching your bird feeders while encouraging birds you want to attract to stick around.

Additionally, you could try using small bird feeders designed for specific bird species that crows are unable to access. Other techniques include placing a fake dead crow or an owl decoy nearby, as this may scare off crows who perceive this as a sign of danger. You could also use reflective surfaces and strong-smelling materials such as garlic, as crows tend to avoid these.

Remember, the key is to combine these methods in order to create an effective and balanced approach to keeping crows away from your bird feeders. By doing so, you can provide a safe and inviting environment for your desired backyard birds while discouraging crows from interfering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective methods to deter crows from bird feeders?

There are several methods to deter crows from bird feeders. One such method is using visual repellents, such as scarecrows or objects that appear threatening and move in the wind, which can scare crows away source . Another option is to fill your feeders with thistle and safflower seeds, as crows usually dislike these seeds source.

Which bird feeders are considered crow-proof?

To keep crows away, consider using squirrel-proof bird feeders. These feeders have special designs that deter not only squirrels but also larger birds like crows source.

How can I prevent crows from accessing suet feeders?

One method to prevent crows from accessing suet feeders is by using plastic bird spikes. These anti-roosting, anti-perching spikes can be installed around the feeder with screws, glue, or ties source.

What are some DIY solutions to keep crows away from bird feeders?

Experiment with hanging your bird feeder from a thin branch or a thin wire, making it difficult for crows to perch. You can also try placing the feeder inside a wire mesh cage with small openings, allowing smaller songbirds to enter while keeping crows out.

How can I attract other birds while keeping crows at bay?

To attract other birds while keeping crows away, offer food preferred by smaller songbirds, such as thistle and safflower seeds source. Provide different feeder options like tube, hopper, and dish-style feeders to accommodate a variety of bird species but deter larger birds.

What techniques can be used to scare off crows and magpies without harming them?

You can use visual deterrents like scarecrows or objects that move in the wind to scare off crows source. Additionally, consider installing anti-roosting, anti-perching bird spikes around bird feeders to discourage crows from landing source.

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