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Why So Many Crows All of a Sudden? (And What to Do About it)

Why So Many Crows All of a Sudden? (And What to Do About it)

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You might have seen crows flying around your house every now and then. They are feral birds that like to feast on leftovers and you might often see them flying near the trash, especially if you threw out a lot of leftovers. One of the things that you should know about crows is that they are incredibly intelligent.

Secondly, they are also very social. You will hardly see a single crow flying around. They usually move around in flocks.

A murder of crows, as it is known, is quite often seen around landfills or in areas where garbage is thrown about. The murder of crows that you see in your yard is probably a single family, and more importantly, they all like to look after each other.

The younger crows are going to help their parents care for their younger siblings. Eventually, they are going to breed on their own. They like to work in a mob to scare off harmful or wary prey.

Sometimes, a crow might also try to encroach on another’s territory, and when that happens, they are also likely to bond together and defend themselves.

Crows are also incredibly effective at reducing the population of insects and creepy crawlies from your yard. A single family of crows can easily eat more than 40,000 caterpillars, grubs, or other worms and insects within a single nesting season.

Many gardeners consider these insects as pests, so the crows are actually doing them favor.

You should also know that they play a critical role in the distribution of seeds. Crows often like to store and transport seeds from one place to another, and they contribute heavily to the renewal of forests and replanting.

More importantly, you should know that crows like to eat carrion, which makes them a part of the natural cleanup process.

Why Are Crows Attracted to Urban Areas?

One of the questions that many people ask is why crows might be so attracted to urban areas. Basically, you should know that crows can use any combination of farmland, orchards, woodlands, or even the urban settlements as their homes.

They just need a quiet place where they can set up the nest, and where they are likely to find food.

Like most other wild animals that you might consider your neighbors, you should know that crows can easily thrive in the habitat that you create. They increased considerably when North America was colonized by the British and Europeans, and they tend to multiply proportionately with urbanization.

As mentioned, they are incredibly social animals, and they tend to roost in many places across the city during the longer winters. Crows that generally thrive in colder places are likely to migrate and join other crows that live in nearby areas.

The reason why they like to roost in communities is because it offers greater protection.

However, this could create a slightly negative impact on the people who live in the community. But, instead of taking out heavy hitters and trying to get rid of them in an inhumane manner, you should know that many of these conflicts can be resolved in a relatively simple and safe manner.

Common Conflicts

Regardless of the nature of the conflict that you have had with crows, one of the best things that you can do is make the area more unattractive to them. If they can’t find what they want, they are simply going to move to other areas.

For instance, if you have food waste lying in an open compost, crows are obviously going to come to that area.

Trash, pet food, and general food items that are left outside for other wild species are going to attract crows as well. You need to take appropriate steps to make sure that the crows remain out of all food sources.

There are several things that you can do to achieve this.

Cover the Trash

One of the simplest things that you can do to prevent the crows from taking over your space is to cover the trash as properly as you can.

If you chuck the trash in the bin on a regular basis and do not cover it, you should know that it’s not going to take long for crows to realize that there is an excellent source of food available.

Obviously, they are going to attack. You should know that crows are omnivores, and they might sometimes fly down to eat a few insects, but then stay around to eat the trash.

If you don’t want that to happen, it’s recommended that you cover it properly. Ideally, you should buy a trash bin that has a locking lid.

Furthermore, you should properly seal the garbage bag before chucking it in the bin to avoid any problems.

Avoid Leaving Food Scraps

If you have compost in your garden, it might be a wise idea to cover it up properly. The food scraps found in the compost could actually attract crows into your yard, as they are going to weed through the compost to find worms and other tiny insects.

Using a conventional yard cover is a great idea and is going to prevent the crows from gathering around it.

Feed Your Pets Indoors

Another common mistake that many people make is that they put their pets’ food bowls outside. It is important for you to make sure that you only feed your pet indoors, and when you are done, you should also remove the food from their bowl.

If you have a food bowl outdoors, you should know that it’s going to attract 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 outside.

When your pets are done eating, it is always safe practice to make sure that you remove the food from the bowl.

Feeding Smaller Birds

Building a small birdhouse in your garden or your backyard is a fantastic idea, and it offers a lot of benefits. It’s a very soothing experience when you can see songbirds flying about the property.

However, you should know that the food you give to these songbirds can easily be stolen by the crows.

Instead, what you want to do is make sure that you install feeders that are designed for smaller birds. Also, it would be a wise idea to get rid of any spillage under the feeders.

Do not delay this, as it’s only going to make things worse. Ideally, you should clean up the spillage at least once a week to avoid crows.

Remember, it would be 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.

More importantly, you should know that crows are smarter than the average animal or bird that you come across. As a result of that, you will have to make use of a number of different techniques on a regular basis to make sure that you get rid of these birds.

Otherwise, it won’t take long before they adjust to the changes, and continue getting their food.

Once the crows settle into the area, convincing them to leave is going to be even harder.

Winter Roosts

One of the biggest issues that you are going to face with crows is during the winter months. Historically, crows began to move away from towns and cities back in the 1960s.

Today, many crows can be found in the city, while some tend to fly from pastures and cornfields to the city to forage for food.

It’s become common practice in many parts of the world. There have been many cases where crow roosts have formed near the edges of busy cities, and they have just been taken over by the rate at which development has happened.

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.

There are several other factors, such as the fact that crows don’t have to worry about getting shot in the urban areas. On top of that, large groups of tall trees are commonly available in the urban areas.

The buildings and the pavements also provide a warmer temperature for the crows, whereas the artificial lighting that is found in the cities and urban areas make the crows feel much safer.

In fact, 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!

The number of birds in a roost can vary, ranging from just a few hundred to several thousands.

Dealing with a Large Roost

Dealing with a large roost can be a big problem, especially if they move into undesirable areas. 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 established 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 will have to combine multiple techniques together.

The aim is to relocate the roosts and convince them that this area is not safe for them anymore.

There are several things that you can do. Here are some simple techniques that you can use to deal with a larger roost.

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 blare them on a speaker to get rid of the crows.

You don’t have to put these distress calls on repeat; just play them for like five minutes in a day and you will be good.

Pyrotechnics

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, it might be a wise idea to alert your neighbors that you are going to shoot off pyrotechnics because the sound is still quite loud and it’s going to get all of the crows and birds flying away.

Lasers

You might also want to consider using a few lasers. Lasers are available in the market that 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 is not suitable for them, and they are going to eventually move to someplace that is peaceful and where they are not going to be disturbed.

Effigies

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 are probably going to use for Halloween. This can serve as a warning for the birds, and they are soon going to move away.

These are just some of the many different ways in which you can put off crows and make sure that the area is neat and clean.

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Lesli L

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Fascinating! Thanks for all the info and tips!