Crows, often confused with ravens, are majestic black creatures known for their remarkable intelligence, social nature, and loud voices.
These feral birds may have suddenly multiplied in numbers around your backyard or home. The occasional crow here and there is something, but a whole murder of crows? Could be cause for concern.
And it can also just be crows being crows. Together, we’ll get to the bottom of why there’s a murder of crows around your home and what you can do about it—only humane ways, of course. So, stick around!
Why So Many Crows in My Yard?
The murder of crows that you see in your yard is probably just a single family. Hard to imagine, right?
Remember how we said that crows are social creatures? Well, they are! You’ll hardly ever see a single crow flying around. They almost always move around in flocks and they all like to look after each other.
Fun fact: The adult crows help their parents care for their younger siblings till they can breed on their own.
For that reason, you often get to witness a family or group of crows around your home—especially if you live in an urban area (more on that later).
But let’s take a look at why else are there many crows in your yard:
1. Gathering Around Leftovers
Crows like to feast on leftovers and you might often see them flying near the trash, especially if there’s a lot of it lying around.
In fact, you may notice crows gathering around landfills or in areas where garbage is thrown about.
2. Displaying Territorial Behavior
Sometimes, a crow might also try to encroach on another’s territory. When that happens, they’re likely to bond together and defend themselves.
Alternatively, crows like to work in a mob to scare off harmful or wary prey as well.
3. Carrying Out Their Role in the Ecosystem
Did you know that crows are incredibly effective at reducing the population of insects and creepy crawlies in your yard?
One family of crows can easily eat more than 40,000 caterpillars, grubs, or other worms and insects within a single nesting season. Crows particularly like to eat carrion, which makes them a part of the natural cleanup process.
Many gardeners consider these insects as pests, so the crows are actually doing them a favor!
You should also know that they play a critical role in the distribution of seeds too—how, you ask?
Crows often like to store and transport seeds from one place to another. As such, they contribute heavily to the renewal of forests and replanting.
Why Are Crows Attracted to Urban Areas?
Now that’s a highly common question among urban folk!
Here’s the short answer: Crows love to use farmland, orchards, woodlands, or even urban settlements as their homes.
Like you, they just need a quiet place where they can set up the nest, and where they’re likely to find food. They can easily thrive in any habitat that you create.
And here’s a fun history fact for you:
Crows increased considerably when North America was colonized by the British and Europeans. After that, crows began to move away from towns and cities back in the 1960s.
But, why have crows decided to move to more urban areas? The reason for this is simple: humans provide an ideal habitat for the crows, along with lots of food as well.
While there have been many cases where crow roosts have formed near the edges of busy cities, they’ve just been taken over by the rate at which development has happened.
There are several other factors too, such as the fact that crows don’t have to worry about getting shot in urban areas. On top of that, large groups of tall trees are commonly available in urban areas.
The buildings and the pavements also provide a warmer temperature for the crows, whereas the artificial lighting that’s found in the cities and urban areas makes the crows feel much safer.
So, it makes sense their numbers tend to be higher in urban areas.
How to Deal With All the Crows in Your Yard
We understand that a gathering of crows—for whatever reason—can be unsettling. Lucky for you, though, taking care of the situation is rather easy.
One of the best things that you can do is make the area more unattractive to them. If the crows can’t find what they want, they’re simply going to move on to other areas.
Enough talk. Let’s see actionable ways you can shoo off crows the right way.
1. Cover the Trash
This is a golden rule, people! Prevent the crows from taking over your space by covering your trash as properly as you can.
If you chuck the trash in the bin on a regular basis and don’t cover it, it’s not going to take long for crows to realize that there’s an excellent source of food available.
So, obviously, they’re going to attack. Crows are omnivores after all, and they might sometimes fly down to eat a few insects, such as garbage flies, but then stay around to eat the trash.
Since we want to stop the crows from having meals in our yard, maybe buy a trash bin that has a locking lid. Properly seal the garbage bag before chucking it in the bin as well.
2. Avoid Leaving Food Scraps
Garden compost, like garbage, is highly attractive to crows, too.
The food scraps found in the compost could attract those feral birds, and they end up weeding through the compost to find worms and other tiny insects.
So, use a conventional yard cover and prevent the crows from gathering.
3. Feed Your Pets Indoors
Another common mistake that many people make is that they put their pets’ food bowls outside—and this easily attracts crows.
This is a pretty easy problem to deal with; all you have to do is make sure that you feed your pet indoors and avoid leaving any kind of food, or even the food bowl, outside.
4. Feeding Smaller Birds
Building a small birdhouse in your garden or your backyard is a fantastic idea, that’s for sure! It’s a soothing experience to see songbirds flying about your home.
Probably the only downside is; that those same songbirds attract crows on occasion.
What you want to do is:
Install feeders that are designed for smaller birds. Also, it would be wise to get rid of any spillage under the feeders.
Do not delay this, either! It’s only going to make things worse. Ideally, you should clean up the spillage at least once a week to deter crows.
Gentle Reminder When Dealing With Crows
It’s virtually impossible for you to remove all of the food sources for the crows.
Instead, what you can do is make sure that you get rid of the food sources that are easily available for the crows. As long as you do that, the crows will soon start moving to other locations.
After all, crows are smarter than the average animal or bird that you come across. As a result, you’ll have to regularly make use of a number of different techniques to get rid of these birds.
Otherwise, it won’t take long before they adjust to the changes, and continue getting their food.
And once the crows settle into the area, convincing them to leave is going to be even harder!
How to Deal with a Large Roost
Dealing with a large roost can be a big problem, especially if they move into undesirable areas.
What’s Considered a Large Roost?
The number of birds in a roost can vary, ranging from just a few hundred to several thousand.
This might come as a surprise to most people: but crows usually use the same locations for roosting for many years. In some cases, even decades!
In one part of New York, the crows have been roosting for over 125 years!
How to Deal with a Large Roost
While there are quite a few different methods available that you can use, you should know that roosts are generally much easier to relocate when they haven’t properly nested in a particular area.
If the crows have spent several seasons in the same area, it’s obviously going to be much harder for you to move them. To create a successful strategy, you’ll have to combine multiple techniques together.
The aim is to relocate the roosts and convince them that this area isn’t safe for them anymore.
1. Use Distress Calls
Using recorded crow distress calls is a simple and effective way to keep the crows away from your house.
You can find a whole bunch of different distress calls for crows recorded online, allowing you to blast them on a speaker to get rid of the crows.
You don’t have to repeat these distress calls; just play them for like five minutes a day and you’ll be good.
Instead of putting out fireworks and causing a disturbance in the whole neighborhood, one of the things that you can do is use pyrotechnics.
These are basically loud noise makers that are going to sound just like fireworks, but they don’t have any negative effects.
Of course, you might still want to alert your neighbors that you’re going to shoot off pyrotechnics because the sound is quite loud but it’ll get all of the crows and birds flying away.
Consider using a few lasers as well. Lasers are designed primarily to harass birds and make it difficult for them to sit in one place.
If you do it on a consistent basis, the crows are soon going to realize that this place isn’t suitable for them.
They’re going to eventually move to someplace that’s peaceful—where they’re not going to be disturbed.
One of the more radical measures that you can take is to hang effigies all around the area.
Fake models of dead crows (you can easily find them at any prop store) can be hung, along with a few decoration pieces that you’re probably going to use for Halloween.
This can serve as a warning for the birds, and they’ll soon be on their way.
You might still have some questions about dealing with crows. Let’s answer them:
Are crows a danger to humans?
Don’t believe the rumors! Crows actually couldn’t care less for humans—for the most part, that is. As long as you stay away from their nests during the breeding season, you won’t be attacked.
Simply, don’t give crows a reason to attack and claw at you, and you, your family, and/or pets will be more than fine.
What does it mean when a lot of crows are circling?
You may have observed this fascinating behavior that crows display. When they circle around an area, they’re either marking it as their own or ‘circling’ the area for potential threats and predators.
They may have also found a nice pile of food, and want to make sure that no predators are around before they safely land to eat.
Are crows good or bad to have around?
It all depends on how you see it. Crows do a lot for the ecosystem. They also make insects and pests less of a problem for gardeners and yard owners alike.
On the other hand, crows are loud, disruptive, messy—and let’s be honest, are disturbingly scary in large groups. So, you decide, are crows good or bad to have around your home?
With our guide, you don’t have to stop and ask: why are there so many crows all of a sudden?
We’ve given you enough reasons to explain them circling around your property or just hanging around your yard. Keep our tips in mind, and in no time, the crows will be on their way to find a more attractive place to stay. Trust us on that!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel