What Do Crows Eat?


What’s the first thing that pops in your mind when you think of what a Crow eats? Corn? Why else would a farmer have a scarecrow on their farm? They’ve been known to eat almost everything, but the question remains, what do Crows Eat? 

Crows are omnivores. They eat small grains and animals; they have been known to eat birds. Depending on the type of Crow, their diets mainly include grains, insects, small invertebrates, and vertebrates. They cannot eat foods like beans, chocolate, tomatoes, and anything infused with garlic.

Suppose you are considering purchasing a Crow to train, or perhaps you just want to settle a pondering thought about what they eat, and not all types of Crows eat the same thing. Well, whatever it is, let’s find out what’s typically found on a Crow’s dietary preference sheet. 

Common Eating Habits for Crows

All Crow’s diets can include nuts, seeds, grains, eggs, reptiles, small mammals, but certain species of Crow’s have slightly different diet preferences. They often scavenge through human garbage while also enjoying the treats offered by a bird feeder in suburban areas.  

Certain factors have to be in place before you present a baby Crow with a pile of rubbish. For instance, the type of Crow you are wondering about and their age are significant factors determining what Crow eats.

Younger Crows eat softer food and require a lot of protein; Fish Crows eat more fish than the average Cape Crow. 

Crows are considered pests for farmers because they eat their crops like corn or wheat. However, these birds also eat pests that harm crops, so it’s a bit of a 50/50 for farmers.

Like most things, the geolocation greatly factors the diet for the Crow. Some crows who prefer woodlands to suburban areas have a diet that composes more crickets. 

4 Different Diets for Different Types of Crows

The Diet of the American Crow

The American Crow has mastered finding its own meals without the need of the average bird feeder. This omnivorous creature has been known to eat invertebrates’ carcasses. A few of these carcasses have occasionally been fellow birds. 

Type of Food Typical items found in the American Crow’s diet
FishStranded fish on coastlines and riverbanks [Carrion]
FruitApple
Cherries
Grape
Human Food [Processed Foods]Kitchen scraps
Farmland Produces
Garbage
Hard-Boiled Eggs 
Plant-Based [Legumes, Vegetables] Corn Peas
PoultryBird
Carcasses
Nestlings
Stolen Eggs
Grains, nuts, and seeds.Acorns
Almonds
Corn
Hazelnuts
Peanuts [Unsalted]
Pumpkin
Walnuts
Wheat
InsectsBeetles
Crickets
Grasshoppers
Mealworms
Millipedes
Spiders
ReptilesSnakes
Small InvertebratesA wide variety of Worms [Depends on where they’re found].
Small VertebratesFrogs
Mice
Small Rabbits

The Diet of the Cape Crow or Black Crow

The Cape Crow is commonly found across southern Africa, particularly the farmlands and semi-arid shrublands or savannahs.

Their beak is a lot slimmer than the average American Crow, an evolutionary hack to help penetrate the ground to search for insects. 

Type of Food Typical items found in the American Crow’s diet
FruitApple
Cherries
Grape
Human Food [Processed Foods]Kitchen scraps
Farmland Produces
Garbage
Hard-Boiled Eggs 
Plant-Based [Legumes, Vegetables] Bulbs
Corn
Peas
PoultryBirds [can kill a bird that weighs up to a pound]
Bird Carcasses
Chicks
Nestlings
Stolen Eggs
Grains, nuts, and seeds.Acorns
Almonds
Corn
Hazelnuts
Peanuts [Unsalted]
Walnuts
Wheat
InsectsBeetles
Crickets
Grasshoppers
Mealworms
Millipedes
Spiders
So many more depends on geolocation.
ReptilesSmall Reptiles
Snakes
Small InvertebratesA wide variety of Worms [Depends on where they’re found].
Small VertebratesFrogs
Mice
Nestlings

The Diet of the Fish Crow

As the name suggests, the small Fish Crow finds its meal alongside the coastline.

They’re native to the United States’ southeast coastline, but they also occupy spaces like river valleys, woodlands, and farms. 

Type of Food Typical items found in the Fish  Crow’s diet
FishCarrion
Crabs
Crayfish Fish
FruitBerries
Human Food [Processed Foods]Farmland Produces 
Hard-Boiled Eggs 
Kitchen Waste
Garbage
MollusksClams 
Mussels
Plant-Based [Legumes, Vegetables] Corn
Peas
Grains, nuts, and seeds.Acorns
Almonds
Corn
Hazelnuts
Peanuts [Unsalted]
Walnuts
Wheat
InsectsBeetles
Crickets
Grasshoppers
Mealworms
Millipedes
Spiders 
So many more depends on geolocation. 
ReptilesStolen Turtle Eggs
Small VertebratesFrogs
Nestlings

The Diet of the Pied Crow, or the Small Crow-Size Raven

Pied Crows are often referred to as a ‘Small Crow-Size Raven’ due to their exciting family line.

Another species of Crow that soars the African Sky, the white-chested Pied Crow, is a nifty survivor with a diet similar to that of the average American Crow. Except for the fact that these crows are capable of killing a fruitbat for dinner. 

Type of Food Typical items found in the American Crow’s diet
FruitApple
Cherries
Grape
Human Food [Processed Foods]Hard-Boiled Eggs 
Kitchen scraps
Farmland Produces
Garbage
Plant-Based [Legumes, Vegetables] Bulbs
Corn
Peas
PoultryBirds [can kill a bird that weighs up to a pound]
Bird Carcasses
Chicks Nestlings
Stolen Eggs
Grains, nuts, and seeds.Acorns
Almonds
Corn
Hazelnuts
Peanuts [Unsalted]
Walnuts
Wheat
InsectsBeetles
Crickets
Grasshoppers
Mealworms
Millipedes
Spiders 
So many more depends on geolocation. 
ReptilesSmall Reptiles
Snakes
Small InvertebratesA wide variety of Worms [Depends on where they’re found].
Small VertebratesBats
Frogs
Mice
Nestlings

Is Processed Food Even Okay for Crows to Eat?

Look, Crows are mighty and durable birds. Their intimidating all-black demeanor is backed by their sketchy habits to survive and thrive in modern society. Their bodies have adapted to eat some nasty things, so if you offer a crow, you’re nursing a bit of processed food; just think that they could be picking apart rubbish at landfills. 

Types of Foods to Never Feed a Crow

Before we conclude that Crows are the most indestructible bird out there and that nothing can stop them, unfortunately, some food items can be fatal.

So, if you’re planning on feeding a Crow, please make sure you familiarize yourself with the following no-go fruits, vegetables, and human processed food:

Fruits & Vegetables

Even though Crow’s have plenty of fruit on their dietary plan, the apple seeds themselves are toxic for them, so avoid adding that to the bird feeder!

Other examples of no-go Fruit Include:

  • Avocadoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms

Human Food [Processed Foods]

One easily overlooked potential hazard for crows is garlic-infused products. Garlic contains the chemical Allicin, which causes weakness and potentially anemia in birds.

Some crows enjoy the occasional sausage or a slice of ham, which is entirely acceptable, but it has to be in moderation. 

Other examples of no-go Human Food Include:

  • Caffeine-infused products 
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Honey

If you have some leftover dry cat food, soak them in water, and then you will be able to feed them to the Crows. They have to be soaked beforehand to ensure that the Crow won’t choke on the dry food. 

Even though breadcrumbs are a typical snack for the average bird in the park, it fills their stomach when birds consume bread pieces. Still, it doesn’t have the needed nutritional value to fuel them. Be cautionary to feed your Crows any Beans; it’s commonly overlooked. 

Conclusion

Crows are many things, and greedy is definitely amongst the general references to their nature. It’s safe to say that Crows eat small amphibians and mammals, various sorts of fish, insects, fruits, grains, and reptiles. The ratio of each food group is greatly determined by the type of Crow.

Crows should not be fed any beans, tomatoes, onions, chocolates, products that are mixed with honey or infused with caffeine, and so forth.

Crows will eat close to anything, but we have to remember that there are some foods that they cannot eat. You don’t want to be that person who kills their pet Crow for giving them the wrong food. 

Sources: 

https://celebrateurbanbirds.org/learn/birds/focal-species/american-crow/

https://corvidresearch.blog/faqs-about-crows/comment-page-1/

https://www.livescience.com/52716-crows-ravens.html

Donald Bergeson

I have always been fascinated by the skill, strength, and beauty of birds.They help in maintaining a balance of ecological environment. At Best Bird Guide, I share all of my experiences and discoveries that I have got so far and inspire more devoted fans.

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