Crows as Pets: The Fascinating and Challenging Choice

Are you tired of the same old options for pets? Well, have you ever considered crows as companions? Yes, you read that right – crows as pets! 

Before you dismiss the idea with a skeptical caw, let me tell you, these feathered friends are more fascinating than you could ever imagine. 

So, can you really have crows as pets? The short answer is yes! 

In this article, we’ll explore the world of crows as pets and uncover the captivating reasons why you might want to keep reading.


The 7 Things You Must Know About Crows as Pets

1. Crows Are Wild Animals

It is important to acknowledge that crows are wild animals at their core. 

Despite their adaptability and interaction with humans in urban areas, they still retain their natural instincts. 

Owning a crow means cohabitating with a creature that has evolved to thrive in the wild. 

This inherent wildness should be respected and understood before considering a crow as a pet.

2. They Need to Sunbathe

Crows are creatures of nature, and one of their peculiar behaviors involves sunbathing. 

Yes, you heard it right! Crows love to bask in the warmth of the sun, spreading their wings wide and soaking up its rays. 

Sunbathing is not only a leisurely activity for them but also crucial for their feather maintenance. It helps rid their plumage of parasites and keeps them in top-notch condition.

3. It’s Illegal in Many Countries

Before entertaining the thought of having a crow as a pet, it is essential to familiarize oneself with local regulations. 

Owning crows as pets is often illegal or heavily regulated in many countries due to concerns about wildlife conservation and the potential harm to the birds themselves. 

It is vital to ensure compliance with the law and consider the ethical implications of keeping a wild animal in captivity.

4. Crows Are Social Birds

One striking aspect of crows is their highly social nature. 

They thrive in communities, forming tight-knit family groups and engaging in complex social interactions. 

If you are considering a crow as a pet, it is crucial to acknowledge that their social needs extend beyond human companionship. 

Replicating a crow’s natural social environment would be a daunting task, requiring careful consideration and significant effort.

Related Article: Can Crows Talk Like Parrots?

5. They Go Crazy in Captivity

Crows possess remarkable intelligence and a strong need for mental stimulation. 

In captivity, without the freedom to explore and engage in their natural behaviors, crows can become stressed and frustrated. 

Boredom may lead to destructive behaviors such as excessive cawing, feather-plucking, or even self-harm. 

Providing an environment that challenges their intellect and offers various forms of enrichment is paramount but can be immensely challenging.

6. You’d Need to Provide a Massive Cage

Considering the size and flight capabilities of crows, confining them to a small cage would be unfair and detrimental to their well-being. 

Providing a spacious and secure enclosure is essential to mimic their natural habitat. 

A large aviary with ample room for flight, branches for perching, and areas for foraging and play would be a basic requirement for any responsible crow owner.

7. Medical Care Is Near Impossible

When it comes to medical care for crows, challenges abound. 

Finding a veterinarian with experience and expertise in treating avian species, especially unconventional pets like crows, can be extremely difficult. 

Additionally, due to their wild nature and potential exposure to diseases, crows may not respond well to the stress and confinement associated with medical treatments. 

Adequate medical care is an essential consideration before committing to owning a crow as a pet.


What Crow Species are Legal to Have as Pets?

Before considering crows as pets, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations governing their ownership. 

In the United States, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) protects native bird species, including crows. 

It is generally illegal to keep crows captured from the wild without proper permits. 

However, there are exceptions for certain species, such as the Northwestern Crow and the Fish Crow, which may be kept as pets in some states. 

Always research and consult local authorities to determine which species are legal in your area.

Why are Crows Not Suitable Pets?

While the idea of having a crow as a pet might seem enticing, it’s important to understand why they are not well-suited to domestic life. 

Crows are highly intelligent and social birds that thrive in the wild, where they can engage in complex behaviors and establish intricate social structures. 

Captivity can severely restrict their natural instincts, leading to physical and psychological distress. 

Furthermore, crows have specialized dietary and environmental needs that are challenging to meet in a home setting. 

Providing an adequate and stimulating environment for a crow is a significant responsibility that may not be feasible for most people.

How Can I Get a Permit to Rehabilitate a Crow?

If you encounter an injured or orphaned crow and wish to help, becoming a licensed wildlife rehabilitator is a viable option. 

Rehabilitating crows requires specific knowledge, training, and permits. 

Contact your local wildlife authorities or wildlife rehabilitation centers to inquire about the requirements for obtaining a permit. 

These permits ensure that you have the necessary skills and resources to provide appropriate care and ultimately release the crow back into its natural habitat.

How Much Does a Crow Cost?

Acquiring a crow legally and ethically often involves going through licensed wildlife rehabilitators or breeders who specialize in hand-rearing crows. 

The cost of obtaining a crow can vary depending on factors such as the species, age, and availability. 

Additionally, keep in mind that the expenses associated with housing, feeding, and providing medical care for a crow can be substantial. 

It is essential to carefully consider the financial commitment involved in owning a crow before proceeding.

Can Crows Be Tamed?

While crows can form bonds with humans, it’s important to note that they are wild animals at heart. 

They retain their natural instincts and behaviors even when raised in captivity. 

Although some individual crows may exhibit a degree of comfort and familiarity around humans, it is not the same as true domestication. 

Building trust and establishing a relationship with a crow requires time, patience, and consistency. 

It’s crucial to respect their boundaries and allow them to express their natural behaviors.

Are Crows Smarter Than Cats?

Crows are renowned for their exceptional intelligence, often compared to that of primates and dolphins. 

Their ability to solve complex puzzles, use tools, and exhibit problem-solving skills is truly remarkable. 

In fact, crows have been observed recognizing individual human faces and remembering people who have treated them positively or negatively. 

While it’s difficult to directly compare the intelligence of crows and cats, it’s safe to say that crows possess a high level of cognitive abilities and adaptive intelligence.

What to Do Instead of Keeping Crows for Pets

If you’re captivated by the allure of crows but recognize that they are not suitable as pets, fear not! 

There are plenty of alternative ways to interact with and appreciate these intelligent birds.

1. Befriend Your Local Crows

One of the most rewarding experiences is forming a bond with the crows in your neighborhood. Crows have remarkable memories and can recognize individual human faces. 

By consistently providing food and water in a designated area, you can attract and befriend these magnificent creatures. 

Over time, they may begin to trust you and even bring you small gifts as tokens of their appreciation.

Related Aticle: What Do Crows Eat? [2023] A Comprehensive Guide

2. Volunteer with Wildlife Protection Services

If you have a passion for wildlife conservation and protecting our feathered friends, consider volunteering with wildlife protection services. 

Many organizations work tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate injured or orphaned crows and other wildlife species. 

By dedicating your time and energy to these organizations, you can contribute to the well-being and conservation of crows in your area.

3. Become an Accredited Wildlife Rehabilitator

If you’re truly committed to making a difference in the lives of crows and other wildlife, you can pursue a career as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. 

This involves obtaining the necessary permits, receiving proper training, and acquiring the knowledge and skills to provide professional care for injured or orphaned crows. 

Wildlife rehabilitation is a noble profession that allows you to directly impact the lives of these incredible creatures.

FAQs About Crows As Pets

Do crows make a good pet?

Crows are not suitable pets for several reasons. They have specialized dietary and environmental needs that are challenging to meet in a home setting. 

Crows are highly intelligent and social birds that thrive in the wild, where they can engage in complex behaviors and establish intricate social structures. 

Captivity can severely restrict their natural instincts, leading to physical and psychological distress. 

It’s best to appreciate and admire crows in their natural habitat rather than attempting to keep them as pets.

Is it safe to tame a crow?

While it is possible to form a bond with a crow, it’s important to remember that they are wild animals at heart. 

Crows retain their natural instincts and behaviors even when raised in captivity. 

Building trust and establishing a relationship with a crow requires time, patience, and consistency. 

It’s crucial to respect their boundaries and allow them to express their natural behaviors. 

Handling and taming crows can come with risks, as they have sharp beaks and claws, so caution should always be exercised.

Can crows be loyal?

Crows are known for their high level of intelligence and complex social dynamics. 

While they may develop a certain level of familiarity and comfort around humans, it is important to understand that their loyalty primarily lies within their own crow family or flock. 

Crows exhibit strong familial bonds and form tight-knit social groups. 

While they may recognize and remember individual humans, their loyalty is primarily directed towards their own kind. 

It’s important to appreciate and respect their natural social structure rather than expecting domesticated loyalty.

Is it legal to have a pet crow in India?

In India, the legality of keeping crows as pets may vary depending on local regulations and the specific species of crow. 

The Wildlife Protection Act of India protects native bird species, including crows, and it is generally illegal to keep them as pets without proper permits. 

It’s crucial to research and consult with local authorities to determine the legal requirements and restrictions regarding crow ownership in India. 

It’s important to respect and abide by the laws in order to protect the welfare of these birds and contribute to their conservation.

Are crows friendly to humans?

Crows are highly intelligent and adaptable birds that have shown an ability to form relationships with humans. 

While they can exhibit curiosity and even approach humans, it’s important to remember that their behavior can vary individually and depends on their previous experiences with people. 

Some crows may become comfortable and even develop a friendly demeanor with specific individuals who treat them positively. 

However, it’s essential to approach crows with caution and respect their boundaries. 

Interactions with crows should always prioritize their well-being and minimize any potential harm or stress.

Final Thoughts About Crows As Pets

In conclusion, while the idea of having a crow as a pet may be intriguing, it’s important to prioritize the well-being and natural instincts of these intelligent birds. 

Crows are best appreciated and admired in their natural habitat, where they can engage in complex behaviors and social interactions. 

Attempting to keep crows as pets can lead to physical and psychological distress for the birds and may not be legally permissible in many cases. 

Instead, let’s focus on fostering a harmonious relationship with crows by befriending them, supporting wildlife protection services, and advocating for their conservation. 

By doing so, we can truly appreciate the remarkable nature of these captivating creatures.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.