What Do Crows Eat? [2023] A Comprehensive Guide

Wondering what do Crows eat?

Curious about their favorite food and what they can’t eat?

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about a Crow’s diet!


What Do Crows Eat?

Crows are omnivorous birds and will feast on a wide variety of items.

Crows are opportunistic feeders and their diets can vary greatly depending on their location and the season.

In general, crows tend to eat insects, small mammals, grains, fruits, seeds, nuts, eggs, worms, frogs, and other small animals.


Invertebrates are the main staple of the crow’s diet and include insects, spiders, snails, worms, grubs, and other small creatures.

Crows will also eat carrion (dead animals) as well as eggs from other birds. Crows are also known to eat small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews.

Carrion is not the only form of animal protein crows consume. In some areas, crows will also feed on songbirds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

Some species may even target endangered animals like sea turtles and their eggs.

What do Crows eat most?

What do Crows eat most

Crows are not shy about what they eat. They will try just about anything once, and if they like it, they’ll keep coming back for more.

However, there are a few things that crows seem to prefer above all else.

This table shows you all the different types of foods Crows eat:

Food Type Examples
Insects and Other Invertebrates Beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders, and snails
Small Animals Mice, squirrels, rabbits, and other small mammals
Birds and Eggs Nestlings, eggs, and adult birds up to the size of a pigeon
Carrion Dead animals, including roadkill and discarded meat
Fruits and Berries Apples, cherries, grapes, and berries
Seeds and Nuts Corn, acorns, and peanuts
Human Food and Garbage Fast food, French fries, and other human scraps
Miscellaneous Small reptiles, amphibians, and fish

One of their favorite foods is corn.

They love to eat the kernels right off the cob, and they’re also known to steal corn from farmers’ fields. Another item on the crow’s menu is garbage.

Crows often rummage through trash cans in search of scraps of food, and they’re not above eating roadkill either. In fact, crows will eat just about anything that isn’t poisonous – including other birds’ eggs and baby chicks.

Crows also enjoy fruits and nuts, and they’re especially fond of suet from bird feeders. Lastly, crows will dine on insects like grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars.

All in all, crows are quite opportunistic eaters!

Foods to Avoid When Feeding Crows

Foods to Avoid When Feeding Crows

The common crow is an omnivorous bird, which means that it will eat just about anything. However, there are certain foods that should be avoided when feeding crows.

For example, raw meat and fish can contain harmful bacteria that can make crows sick.

In addition, altruistic foodstuffs like nuts and berries should be avoided, as they can attract other animals that may prey on crows.

This table shows you the types of foods to avoid feeding Crows:

Foods to Avoid Reason
Avocado Contains persin, which is toxic to birds
Chocolate Contains theobromine, which is toxic to birds
Alcohol Can cause intoxication, dehydration, and death
Caffeine Can cause dehydration and heart problems
Salt Can cause dehydration and kidney damage
High-Fat Foods Can cause obesity and other health problems
Processed Foods Lacks nutrients and can contain harmful additives
Spoiled or Moldy Food Can contain harmful bacteria or toxins

Finally, any food that has been treated with pesticides or herbicides should also be avoided, as these chemicals can be poisonous to crows.

By avoiding these types of foods, you can ensure that the crows in your area stay healthy and happy.

In addition to avoiding unhealthy foods for crows, it is important to provide them with healthy options.

Crows love a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially corn, apples, grapes, and carrots.

Birdseed mixes are also a great source of nutrition for crows, as they contain a variety of seeds and grains.

You can even make your own birdseed mix by combining different types of grains and seeds in a single bowl.

Crows also enjoy suet, which is a combination of animal fat and cereal grains.

See Also: The Differences Between Blackbirds vs Crows: A Complete Guide

How Smart Are Crows?

How smart are crows

They are very intelligent birds, much like humans. Studies have shown that crows can recognize faces, solve puzzles, and even use tools to get food.

They also have the ability to remember where they’ve seen food before and will often return to those locations in search of a meal.

Crows can also recognize danger or threats and take appropriate action to protect themselves and their families.

This table breaks down how intelligent Crows are:

Intelligence Category Examples
Problem Solving Use tools to extract food, shape wires to create hooks
Memory Remember individual human faces, navigate complex environments
Communication Have a sophisticated vocal language, use gestures to communicate
Social Behavior Form long-term pair bonds, work together to defend territory and gather food
Adaptability Can thrive in a wide range of environments, adjust to changes in their environment

Crows have a varied diet that includes almost anything they can find. Insects, such as beetles and caterpillars, are a common source of food for crows.

They also eat grains, fruit, small animals like mice and voles, carrion (the dead bodies of other animals), eggs from other birds, and even garbage.

Crows will often scavenge around human dwellings looking for food, particularly at dumps or landfills.

In these areas, they can find discarded food that is easy to eat such as bread crusts and french fries.

Crows have also been known to take advantage of bird feeders. This is one of the most common ways for humans to interact with these birds, as they can easily acquire food from the feeders.

While it may be tempting to simply throw out a few pieces of bread and watch the crows flock around it, this is not ideal.

It is better to purchase birdseed specifically designed for wild birds, such as sunflower seeds or millet.

These seeds are more nutritious for crows and other wild birds and can help them stay healthy.

Related Article: Battle of the Birds: Raven vs Crow

Crows also love to eat suet, which is a type of animal fat that has been rendered into a cake or block form.

Suet is an excellent source of nutrition for crows as it is full of energy-rich fats.

It is also easy for them to process and digest.

Suet cakes can often be found at bird feed stores, hardware stores, or pet supply stores.

The Crow Diet

The Crow Diet

The crow’s diet is mostly made up of insects and small animals.

However, they are also known to eat fruit, seeds, and even garbage.

Crows are very adaptable and will adjust their diet to whatever is available.

In the winter, they often eat berries and nuts to stay warm.

In the summer, they eat more insects to stay cool.

Crows are also known to eat dead animals.

This is actually a very important part of their diet.

By eating dead animals, crows help to prevent the spread of disease.

Why Crows are so opportunistic eaters

Why Crows are so opportunistic eaters

Crows are known for their intelligence and their ability to solve complex problems.

But what many people don’t realize is that crows are also opportunistic eaters.

This means that they will take advantage of any food source that is available, whether it is a dead animal, a piece of garbage, or even a small child’s lunch.

Here’s a table with more cool facts about crows:

Fact Description
Tool Use Crows are one of the few animals known to use tools, and have been observed using sticks and other objects to extract food from hard-to-reach places.
Vocalizations Crows have a sophisticated vocal language and can mimic other bird species and even human speech.
Memory Crows have excellent long-term memory, and can remember individual human faces for years. They can also hold grudges against those who have treated them poorly.
Intelligence Crows are highly intelligent birds, with the ability to problem solve, communicate, and work together to gather food and defend their territory.
Mourning Crows have been observed mourning their dead, gathering around the body and vocalizing in a way that suggests mourning or grieving.
Playfulness Crows have been observed engaging in play, such as sliding down snow-covered roofs or playing games of catch with other crows.
Adaptability Crows are highly adaptable birds and can thrive in a wide range of environments, including urban areas. They are also known to adjust their behavior in response to changes in their environment, such as changes in food availability.
Lifespan Crows can live up to 20 years in the wild, and may live even longer in captivity.

Crows have even been known to steal food from other animals, such as squirrels.

The reason for this is that crows are relatively small birds, and they need to eat a lot of food in order to survive.

So, if there is an easy food source available, they will take advantage of it.

This opportunism also explains why crows are often seen in urban areas, where there is an abundance of food sources.

Receiving gifts from Crows in exchange for food

Receiving gifts from Crows in exchange for food

While many people consider crows to be nothing more than nuisances, there is one group of people who have developed a special relationship with these intelligent birds.

In Japan, there is a small town called Tomonoura that is home to a centuries-old tradition of exchanging gifts with crows.

According to legend, the practice began when a young boy named Kiyoshichi was lost at sea and rescued by a crow.

As a way of showing his gratitude, Kiyoshichi started feeding the crows every day.

Over time, word spread about the boy who was kind to animals, and other people in the town started leaving food for the crows as well.

Today, the tradition continues, and residents of Tomonoura still leave out food for the crows each day.

In return, the crows often bring small gifts, such as shells or beads, which they leave at the feet of those who have been kind to them.

What do Crows in CAPTIVITY eat?

What do Crows in CAPTIVITY eat?

When it comes to feeding Crows, their diet in captivity will be quite different than what they would eat in the wild.

Captive crows should be given a variety of foods including fresh fruit and vegetables, canned dog food and cat food (without onion or garlic), cooked rice, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, and seeds such as sunflower, millet, safflower, and peanuts.

They should also be given some animal proteins like beef hearts, boiled chicken, or fish in small quantities on occasion.

In captivity, crows can become very accustomed to their human carers and will often look up to them for food.

Therefore it is important to not feed crows on a regular basis from your hand as they may become overly dependent on you and forget to look for food in the wild.

It is important to provide crows with different types of food sources so that they can learn how to find food when in the wild.

What do Crows in the WILD eat?

What do Crows in the WILD eat?

In the wild, crows are omnivores.

They eat a wide variety of food, including insects, small mammals, eggs and young birds, grains, fruits and seeds, nuts and berries, carrion (dead animals), and garbage.

Insects make up the bulk of the crow’s diet in the spring and summer months.

Crows are especially fond of grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, caterpillars, and other crawling insects.

They may also hunt for worms, snails, spiders, and scorpions.

During the fall and winter months, crows switch to a more plant-based diet.

This includes wild fruits like elderberries, hawthorn, and blackberries, as well as acorns and other nuts.

Crows also take advantage of food sources provided by humans—such as garbage, bird feeders, and pet food left out on porches.

They’re especially fond of peanuts and sunflower seeds, so if you want to attract crows to your backyard or garden, these are good foods to provide.

What do Crows eat in the winter?

What do Crows eat in the winter?

Though they are often seen as pests, crows actually play an important role in the ecosystem.

These intelligent birds are omnivores, meaning they will eat just about anything. In the wintertime, when food is scarce, crows will take advantage of any opportunity to eat.

They will often search through trashcans for scraps of food, and they are not afraid to steal food from other animals.

Crows have also been known to eat roadkill, and they will sometimes hunt small rodents or birds.

In short, crows will eat just about anything that they can find in the wintertime.

This makes them an important source of food for other animals, and it helps to keep the ecosystem in balance.

What Do Crows drink?

What do Crows drink

While many people think of crows as primary scavengers, they are actually quite versatile feeders. In addition to carrion, crows will also eat insects, small mammals, fruit, and nuts. And what do crows drink?

Mostly water, just like humans.

In fact, crows have even been known to remove caps from bottles and drink from them!

While they don’t usually eat or drink together in flocks, crows have been known to congregate around sources of water, such as pools and streams.

So next time you see a crow, remember that it’s not just looking for something to eat – it might be thirsty too!

Do crows make good pets?

Do crows make good pets

This is a debatable question, as some people love to keep crows as pets while others believe that it’s not always a good idea.

Crows are incredibly intelligent animals and can become quite attached to their owners, but they have specific needs that need to be met if you’re considering keeping one as a pet.

Here’s a comparison of the pros and cons of keeping a Crow as a pet:

Pros Cons
Intelligent and Affectionate Loud and Can Be Aggressive
Loyal and Bond With Owners Require a Lot of Space and Attention
Can Learn Tricks and Behaviors Risk of Injury If Not Handled Properly
Social and Enjoy Company of Humans Need a Specialized Diet
Can Bring Gifts to Show Gratitude Can Be Expensive to Keep as a Pet
Can Be Rewarding and Fascinating to Own Not Legal to Keep as a Pet in All Areas

On the positive side, crows can be quite affectionate towards their owners and they’re very loyal. They often recognize not only their owners but members of the family too.

Some people have even experienced them bringing gifts to show gratitude for being cared for. Crows are also incredibly smart animals that can learn a variety of behaviors.

On the negative side, crows are loud and can become so attached to their owners that they may become aggressive toward strangers. Although some people have successfully kept them as pets, there is a risk of getting hurt if not handled properly.

Crows also require quite a bit of space and special diets in order to stay healthy. This means that they need dedication and attention from their owners in order to thrive.

Although it’s possible to keep crows as pets, it’s not always the best choice. If you are considering keeping one as a pet, be sure that you can provide all of the necessary space and nutrition needs for them to live a healthy life.

They’re certainly intelligent and affectionate animals that can be rewarding to own, but you must also be aware of the risks. It’s up to you to decide whether or not a crow is a right pet for you.

FAQs About What Do Crows Eat?

Do Crows Eat Squirrels?

Yes, crows will eat squirrels if given the chance. They are omnivorous and will consume a wide range of foods, including small animals like squirrels.

How Do Crows Transport Food?

Crows transport food by carrying it in their beaks, often to their nests or cache sites. They may also use their beaks to tear apart larger items and carry them in smaller pieces.

Do Crows Have a Favorite Food?

Crows do not have a single favorite food, as they are opportunistic and will eat whatever is available. However, they do have preferences for certain foods, such as insects, fruits, and carrion.

What Do Nestlings (Baby Crows) Eat?

Nestlings are fed a diet of mostly insects and other small invertebrates, which their parents provide by regurgitating into their mouths. As they get older, they begin to eat more solid food, such as fruits, nuts, and small animals.

Do Crows Work Together to Gather Food?

Yes, crows are known to work together to gather food.

They are social birds that often forage in groups, and will sometimes form large flocks during the non-breeding season.

Crows have also been observed engaging in cooperative hunting, where they work together to catch larger prey or defend their territory against other birds.

Additionally, crows are known to share food with other members of their group, and may even bring food to their family members and mates.

Final Thoughts

Crows are fascinating birds with a remarkable ability to adapt and overcome.

Knowing what crows eat can help us understand how we can better co-exist with these animals and the environment around them.

Crows are omnivores, which means they will eat both plant and animal matter, but there is much more to their diet than that.

They have a variety of food sources, including fruits and nuts, small animals and insects, as well as garbage and carrion.

Crows are also opportunistic feeders which means they will take advantage of any available food source.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

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.