Categories
Birding

What Do Crows Eat?

Crows are the most common bird we might see around us. I see them every day in my garden trees. Yes, their loud and harsh voice can be annoying, but it is also not unknown to us that crows are intelligent animals as well.

Now, I always wondered, what do crows eat? Do they have a special type of diet? No, crows don’t have a special diet and eat almost any available food.

I tried to find out about their food habits, and below I will share my findings with you.

 

What Do We Know About Crows

Crows are part of the genus Corvus in the animal kingdom. The genus Corvus includes not only crowsbut also rooks and ravens.And this genus is home to over 45 distinct species. On average, crows can live up to 20 to 30 years.

All crow species are omnivores that will eat just about everything they can get their beaks on. These birds can devour up to 40,000 grubs in a single day, which at first glance may appear impossible. To stay alive, they have to eat 11 ounces per day.

Crows are known for their loner tendencies, even though they frequently search for food in groups. They assemble in huge numbers during the breeding season so that they may roost together and defend themselves from predators.

 

What Do Crows Eat

Crows are omnivores like us. Nothing is out of their diet, from plants to animals and even processed foods. Crows, with their big, broad beak, will eat almost anything.

They are very opportunistic eaters, so they can feast on almost everything. Although all of the species are nearly omnivores, some species are more herbivores, and some follow a more carnivorous diet.

It is very tough to list an animal’s diet when they are omnivores.

 

Foods That Crows Commonly Eat

Because you will be confused about what to include and what not to, I will try to give you a glimpse of what the birds’ diet looks like.

Seeds, Nuts, And Grains

Crows go absolutely bananas about nuts. Any kind of nuts, be it peanuts, almonds, or walnuts, the crows do surely love these a lot. Crows are so fond of nuts that if you give them nuts daily, they might give you gifts for that.

They also have a thing for grains and seeds. These birds will eat any kind of seeds you put in front of them, including rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn. For grains, whether it is wheat, milo, or millet, crows will eat them.

Crows, who have a voracious appetite, will undoubtedly consume corn if found within their territory causecorn offers birds an excellent nutritional profile.

 

Fruits And Berries

Fruits and berriesare usually found in a crow’s diet, as they make up almost 75% of a crow’s daily food habit. Why is that? The year-round availability of fruits and berries is the primary reason why they are so widely consumed. Whenever they see fruit, they may quickly plummet and grab it.

Berries picked from the wild are simple to gather, but there are many more kinds of fruits to be found in their natural habitat as well.From grapes to apples, oranges, cherries, blueberries, nightshade berries, melons, etc., everything will be on their menu.

When fruit is thrown out, it often ends up in dumps. This is a great spot, with easy access to abundant resources. The crow population has figured out that they may get a steady supply of food by scavenging in trash cans for rotting fruit and other edibles.

 

Insects

For the all-around eaters, insects cannot be out of their menu. Crows supplement their diet with a variety of insects, starting from ants, worms, and other grubs like caterpillars.

As they can eat insects from the ground, so they do not have to deal with the stress of competing with other predators.Crows are highly appreciated in certain areas because of their capacity to reduce the number of damaging bug populations, which is beneficial to farmers.

 

Lizards and Amphibians

Crows consume both amphibians and reptiles as part of their diet. They are known to consume a wide variety of prey, including frogs, small snakes, turtles, salamanders, and anything else they can grab and devour.

Crows love to eat small reptiles like geckos and lizards, as well as other types of small reptiles. They eat not only the adult prey but also the eggs and the hatchlings.

 

Carrion

You may look another way when you see carrion but not the crows. It is a buffet for them. What is carrion? It is a decaying body of a dead animal. Crows love to feast on this.

Like other carrion birds, crows consume dead animals, particularly those that have been killed by vehicles. Recently, I saw a murder of crows feasting on a dead rat on the street. Crows eat carrion from garbage and streets.

It is great that they consume the dead animals, but it is awful because they leave behind piles of decaying flesh everywhere they go.

 

Birds And Bird Eggs

Crows are notorious for preying on and killing other birds, especially young ones. They are even known for swarming other birds, sometimes even baby birds. While shocking to human sensibilities, this is really rather typical among birds and other species.

It is common knowledge that crows and other species from the genus Corvus consume baby birds. They eat them as nestlings or fledglings. Crows will consume infant birds and eggs if they find a nest that has been abandoned.

Bird eggs are protein-rich food. That is why you could find crows trying to break into other birds’ nests and steal their eggs.

Crows will occasionally snack on the young of other species of birds, but they probably will not go out of their way to do so. They will almost never go hungry.And even when they do, there are almost always simpler foods available.

 

Rodents

When I am talking about rodents here, it doesn’t include the large ones like Capybara. Crows are relatively small in size, so they cannot prey on large rodents. What they mainly do is that they feed on the carcasses of these rodents.

Crows include squirrels in their meal, but they don’t hunt them. Instead, they feed on carrion that has been ripped apart by other animals, vehicles, or some other method. Why? Even though they are magnificent, crow bills are not strong enough to rend the skin of a squirrel.

 

Fish

The list is going long, I know. Crows didn’t leave fish to include in their meal. They will get into water up to their bellies in order to capture fish. Crowsalso eat dead fishes, crabs, and shellfish.

These birds do an interesting thing while eating fish. If they find shellfish or crabs, they will throw them from a height to break the shells and then eat the meat.

 

What Do Baby Crows Eat

It is known to all that babies cannot eat like adults. They can’t digest solid foods after birth. The same thing goes for baby crows. During the first two to three weeks of their lives, young crows can only consume very soft foods.

It is a frequent habit among omnivorous birds for parents to vomit food directly into the mouths of their young. When the babies are one- or two weeks older,parents give the babies partially digested foods.

The food that parents provide is highly rich in protein. It basically consists of animal remains and is essential for rapidly developing nestlings.When they start growing, parents will give them bigger pieces of animal matter and insects. Nestlings leave their nests after four weeks of their birth.

 

Do Crows Gather Food Together

Crows are fearsome hunters in nature, but they don’t hunt often. Most of the time, they collect food by other methods.They may hunt together or alone. Even though they can work alone, they are adaptable to working in small or large flocks.

They are capable of working together in remarkably complicated ways when the situation calls for it. If someone is attacked, they will hunt down the attacker in a group. They even work together to distract other animals and take their food.

 

Do Crows Eat Squirrels, Mice, Or Rabbits

Yes, they highly do. But they don’t hunt them often. Even though they are competent hunters, crows are not particularly well-suited for pursuing prey that moves quickly. So, it is impossible for them to chase a squirrel, mice, or rabbits.

They prey on these targets when the opportunity arrives. If they find any injured, sick, or dead rodents, they will not wait to include them in their menu. Also, there are times when crows would form huge flocks to hunt down some rodents.

 

Do Crows Eat Other Birds

Indeed, crows are known to prey on different species of birds. When given a chance, they will break into the nests of other birds and steal the eggs, young, or fledglings. Additionally, they will eat any little wounded or dead bird they come across.

 

What Do Crows Drink

Sweating is one of the primary ways that animals shed water, yet birds lack the necessary glands to do so. That is why crows don’t drink that much water. Crows get the majority portion of water from their foods.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t drink water or enjoy it. Every morning when I go for a walk, I see crows drinking from the birdbaths. I even saw crows drinking from the bird feeders.

 

What Are Crows’ Favorite Food

Crows are not picky eaters in the first place. But it doesn’t mean they can’t have favorite foods on their menu. I have tried to mention here and there what crows especially like.

Like us, crows have a soft corner for boiled eggs. So, if you are planning on feeding crows, then try to feed them eggs. Don’t forget to add the nuts, as I said before.

Another thing is that crows also love pet foods. Pretty much surprising, right? Butyeah, they are fond of cat or dog foods. Let’s finish it with their final love: the chicken and fish scraps. Just scatter them somewhere, and you will see how much they love these.

 

Can I Feed Crows

The answer is yes. It is not prohibited to feed the crows. But make sure you are not creating any hassle for your neighbors. I would suggest you find a quiet placewhere the crows often gather and feed them there. Before you feed them,make sure the food is not harmful to them.

Always maintain a routine while feeding them. Have a birdbath near you so that they can drink from there.

 

What I need to Avoid While Feeding Crows

Feeding crows or any kind of birds is a very good thing. But if you mess up, it will not only drive them away but also deal great damage to the birds. Before you start feeding the crows, maintain these steps.

Remove the seeds from apples, peaches, and pears because the seeds have cyanide in them. So, if you feed them fruits with seeds, you will eventually poison them.Don’t feed the crows any processed foods or bread. Salty and sugary foods are also bad for birds like crows.

 

How Do Crows Digest Foods

Crows, like other birds, lack teeth. It doesn’t matter to them. They are equipped with a specially adapted digestive system that allows them to absorb more nutrients from their food.

First, the crow will use its powerful beak to smash the food into smaller pieces. If the food is not large, then they will devour it directly, and it will go down their hatchet. There is a part called crop in the crow’s body. After reaching the back of the throat, foods are stored here.

From there, it will move to the proventriculus, the stomach’s first section. Then the acid in the stomach is going to start dissolving the food here. After that, the gizzard, the stomach’s other portion, will then ground the food into tiny bits for the intestines to process.

 

Conclusion

Finally, you know the answer to what do crows eat. Crows can eat everything except the seeds of a few fruits. So, if you want to start feeding the crows nesting near your house, you now know everything there is to know

Read Also:

By Nathan Moy

Hi, Nathan Moy is the founder and CEO of Birdmoy.com . Im passionate about nature and I use this site as a platform to share my experiences, learnings, mistakes, and ideas about birding and nature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest