They squawk and make a fuss about everything. If you have them around, you’ll certainly welcome a way to learn about how to get rid of crows in your backyard to keep the peace.
Whatever you think about them, crows are smart. They observe and react intelligently to stimuli and changes in their environment. That’s been an essential factor in their survival and success, from an evolutionary perspective, that is.
However, sometimes they are too clever for their own good, which gets them in trouble with farmers, birdwatchers, and homeowners like you who don’t want to put up with their antics. They are adaptable and opportunistic, other points in their favor.
Knowing the Score
Before you set about getting rid of them, you must know what you can legally do about crows. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects them so that you can’t harm them or possess any parts.
The purpose of the law is to stabilize the numbers of birds that have endured a long history of hunting for human use, including fashion. The act covers native species and exempts ones like the house sparrow and rock pigeon which are not.
Okay, so you can’t hurt them, but you certainly can deter them from including your yard in their frequent haunts.
Step 1: Choosing Your Approach
You have two choices for raging a defense against crows. You can get rid of them by not providing them with the things they need to survive by encroaching on your yard. Or, you can make your backyard so uninviting that they move on to greener pastures. Both are effective — and legal.
However, we are talking about intelligent feathered creatures. That means that they can sniff out a ruse, and they’ll know when it’s done.
Let’s consider each method in detail.
Plan A: Limiting Life’s Necessities
Any animal — welcome or otherwise — needs three things to survive. They include:
The good news is that if you put the kibosh on these factors is that you’ll get a handle on any other pests looking for the same things, along with the predators that come in their wake.
Cutting Off the Free Lunches
The essential thing to remember about crows and food is that they’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat them first. No one says picky and crow in the same sentence. They’ll eat dead animals, garbage, and any leftovers they can find. They also eat bugs, worms, seeds, and frogs. That means you must keep your backyard free of anything that they would find tasty.
Keep the trash in the garage, the pet food in the house, and the pests in the garden under control. Hanging netting over your vegetable plants will keep them at bay as well as a cover over your compost bin.
Crows don’t usually use bird feeders. If you are setting out seed for songbirds, avoid using a platform one. Instead, opt for one meant for smaller birds like a tube feeder that they couldn’t use.
Dry Up the Watering Hole
The premise for this one is standing water. Birds and other animals get a lot of their moisture from the food they eat. You have that covered with the previous step.
Think out of the box with this task to things like the top of the rain barrel, flower pots, and water features. Keep the insect food sources under control with mosquito dunks that kill the pests while not hurting other non-targeted species.
Remove Potential Nesting Sites
Crows will nest in trees in locations over 10 feet. One way to discourage them from your yard is to trim branches on trees that would give them space and cover to nest.
Adding bird spikes on top of your fences will prevent them from landing. Bird gel is another effective way to keep them off of trees and other spots that won’t stain or harm the plants.
Plan B: Making Them Move on to Someplace Else
This one is the proverbial win-win — getting rid of the crows without running afoul of the law. The goal is to make their peace and quiet impossible without lots of annoying distractions.
You have a lot of latitudes to get it done, too.
If they want quiet, you’re going to make it loud. If they want privacy, you’re going to let them know you’re around in a big way. Crows like all animals seek to optimize their resources with what they need to do to survive. In short, they need to get more from what they put in for the maximum ROI. They always have to stay in the black where your actions will tip it toward the red.
Some things you can do include:
- Placing a fake owl in your yard
- Hanging mylar ribbon in trees or other areas they frequent
- Installing a motion sensor light, preferably with a siren
You can also try setting up a decoy of a predator such as a raccoon. You’ll have better luck with ones that move than stationary ones. Fake dead birds can signal that your yard isn’t safe for them, as well. Likewise, recordings of hawks and owls are another way to deter them.
All these actions will scare off the crows to keep them from building nests in your backyard and harassing other birds in your backyard. The songbirds you want to attract will join you in your fight against these pests.
Step 2: Implementing the Plan
Consistency is the goal of whatever approach you want to take. And it’s not just for the current pest but also for whatever one will follow.
We’d also suggest mixing things up occasionally or when they don’t seem as effective. For example, move that plastic owl around to new spots so that it seems like it’s moving. Otherwise, crows are quick to figure out that it isn’t real.
The same thing applies to the mylar ribbons. And if the crows move onto a different part of your yard, use them there.
Don’t write off one of the simplest approaches — scaring them off by shouting and making noise whenever you see them. Crows learn to recognize a threat quickly.
While these birds are typically around the entire year in some areas, they do move onto winter roosts, so you might not have to deal with them all the time. That’s when the crows become a headache for farmers.
Don’t let your property become that space. Use multiple methods of warding them off your land. That way, they won’t be able to detect patterns in the disturbances.
The crucial thing is not to give up and throw in the towel. We understand how tenacious crows can be, which makes them such an ordeal. If one thing doesn’t seem to work, try something else.
Crows are a scorn for a lot of property owners whether you live on a farm or in a suburb. They often cause damage or make it difficult for more valued wildlife to thrive on the resources that your property provides.
Learning how to get rid of crows in your backyard is an effective way to provide for the wildlife that you want to encourage while fending off the ones that can cause damage and grief. A few simple steps are a sensible approach to keep these avian pests at bay.