How To Keep Crows Out Of My Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by Susan Levitt

If you’re a bird lover, it’s likely that the sight of crows at your bird feeder gives you mixed feelings. On one hand, they are fascinating birds with complex social behaviors and impressive intelligence. On the other hand, their voracious appetites can quickly empty out your feeder and leave smaller birds without food. If you’re looking to keep these feathered friends from taking over your feeding station, there are several strategies that may help.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why crows are attracted to bird feeders in the first place. These scavengers have learned that feeders offer an easy source of food, especially during times when natural sources may be scarce. They also tend to prefer high-quality foods like nuts and seeds, so if you’ve stocked your feeder with these items, chances are you’ll see plenty of crows visiting regularly. By making some simple changes to your setup and using creative deterrents, however, you should be able to minimize crow activity while still welcoming other species into your yard.

Understanding Why Crows Come To Bird Feeders

As a wildlife expert, I have witnessed how crows can be quite persistent when it comes to bird feeders. Crow behavior is influenced by their natural instinct to scavenge for food and compete with other birds for resources. This explains why they are attracted to backyard bird feeders that offer a variety of seeds and nuts.

However, there are also certain bird feeder designs that may actually attract crows more than other species of birds. For instance, open tray-style feeders are easier for crows to access compared to tube feeders or suet cages. Moreover, if the feeder is located in an open area without any nearby trees or bushes, this makes it much harder for smaller birds to escape from aggressive crows.

It’s important to note that while crows may seem like unwanted guests at your bird feeder, these intelligent birds play crucial roles in maintaining ecological balance and controlling pest populations. That being said, there are ways you can discourage them from monopolizing your feeder.

One effective method is choosing the right type of feeder that limits crow accessibility while still attracting smaller songbirds. In the next section, we will delve into some practical tips on how to choose the best feeder design based on your specific needs and preferences.

Choosing The Right Type Of Feeder

Feeder placement is crucial when it comes to keeping crows out of your bird feeder. Crows are intelligent birds that can easily figure out how to access food sources. Therefore, it’s important to place the feeder in an area where they cannot perch or land nearby. Consider hanging the feeder from a tree branch with a squirrel-proof baffle attached to deter any unwanted visitors.

Another factor that may attract crows to your bird feeder is seed size. Crows prefer larger seeds such as corn and peanuts over smaller ones like millet and nyjer. If you notice that crows are frequenting your feeder despite its location, try switching to small-sized seeds and see if this reduces their presence.

It’s important to note that while these methods may help reduce crow activity around your bird feeder, they will not completely eliminate them. Crows are resourceful creatures and will continue searching for food wherever possible. However, by implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to make your feeder less desirable for crows without impacting other birds.

To further prevent unwanted guests at your bird feeder, selecting the right type of food is also essential. Different species of birds have different dietary needs, so choosing the appropriate feed will ensure that only desired birds visit your feeding station. Keep reading for tips on selecting the best types of food for various types of backyard birds.

Selecting The Right Type Of Food

While choosing the right type of feeder is important, it’s also crucial to ensure that you select the appropriate location for your bird feeder. Feeder placement plays a significant role in keeping crows away from your bird food. You should place feeders at least 10 feet away from any tree branches or other structures where crows can perch and access the feeder. Additionally, make sure that there are no sources of water nearby as this will attract more birds.

Another way to deter crows from your bird feeder is by selecting the right seed varieties. Crows tend to be attracted to sunflower seeds and corn, so try using different types of seeds like nyjer, safflower, or millet instead. These options have been known to keep crows away while still attracting smaller songbirds like finches and sparrows.

It’s essential to remember that physical barriers can play a significant role in deterring crows from accessing your bird feeder. Here are some effective ways to use physical barriers:

  • Install a baffle on top of your bird feeder pole
  • Use an enclosed squirrel-proof feeder
  • Place wire mesh around the bottom of the feeder pole
  • Hang iridescent tape around the feeding area
  • Cover your entire feeding station with netting

By following these tips for proper feeder placement and selecting alternative seed varieties, along with using physical barriers, you’ll greatly reduce crow activity at your bird feeders. Remember that creating a welcoming environment for smaller birds will go a long way toward discouraging larger birds like crows from frequenting your backyard feeding stations.

Using Physical Barriers To Keep Crows Out

Fencing is a great way to keep crows out of your bird feeder as it creates a physical barrier that crows can’t get past. Netting is also an effective solution, as it obstructs crows’ view of the bird feeder and they won’t be able to get close enough to access it. Covering the bird feeder is another option, as it prevents crows from spotting it and getting to it. I’d recommend exploring each of these options to find the one that works best for you. Fencing and netting will be more of a long-term solution, while covering the bird feeder will be a more temporary one. All three are viable solutions, so it’s up to you to decide which is the best for your situation.


If you are looking for a long-term solution to keep crows out of your bird feeder, using physical barriers is an effective option. Fencing is one such barrier that can help prevent these pesky birds from accessing the feeders.

DIY fencing options could be simple and cost-effective solutions that require minimal effort on your part. You can use materials like chicken wire or PVC pipes to create a fence around your bird feeder. It’s important to ensure that there are no gaps in the fencing as crows are intelligent enough to find their way through small openings.

Alternatively, professional fencing services can provide more permanent and sturdy structures to protect your bird feeders. These fences usually come with specific features designed to deter crows, like angled tops or electric wires placed at strategic locations.

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However, it’s essential to note that while fencing may solve the crow problem, it may also discourage other desirable birds from visiting your feeder. Therefore, before installing any kind of barrier, consider whether it will affect the entire avian ecosystem in your garden.

In conclusion, DIY fencing or professional fencing services are viable options if you want to keep crows away from your bird feeders. However, before proceeding with any type of barrier installation, evaluate how much impact it will have on other birds’ populations in the area. With careful consideration and planning, you can effectively manage feathered visitors to your backyard sanctuary without limiting biodiversity.


Now that we’ve discussed fencing as a solution to keep crows out of bird feeders, another option to consider is netting. Netting installation involves placing mesh around the feeder and securing it tightly so that birds cannot access it. This physical barrier can be particularly effective against larger birds like crows.

Netting maintenance is crucial to ensure its effectiveness in keeping unwanted birds at bay. It’s essential to regularly check for any holes or gaps in the netting and repair them promptly. Additionally, cleaning the netting periodically helps prevent debris and dirt buildup that could attract birds.

One potential downside of using netting is that it may also deter other desirable birds from visiting your feeder. However, there are specialized nets available that allow smaller birds through while still preventing larger ones like crows from getting in.

Overall, installing netting can be an effective long-term solution for keeping crows away from your bird feeders. Still, before making any changes to your backyard setup, consider how they might impact the local avian ecosystem and take steps to minimize harm while maximizing benefits.


Now that we’ve discussed the effectiveness of netting and fencing in deterring crows from bird feeders, another option to consider is DIY covering. This method involves using materials such as mesh or fabric to create a physical barrier around the feeder. Unlike netting or fencing, DIY coverings can be customized to match your backyard’s aesthetic.

When creating a DIY covering, it’s essential to ensure that it fits snugly around the feeder and does not have any holes or gaps where birds could enter. Depending on the material used, decorative coverings may require periodic cleaning to prevent dirt buildup that could attract unwanted avian visitors.

One potential downside of using DIY coverings is that they may also deter desirable birds from visiting your feeder. However, like specialized nets for smaller birds, there are covers available designed specifically with small openings to allow them access while still keeping larger birds out.

Overall, incorporating a DIY covering into your bird feeding setup can be an effective solution for deterring crows. Still, before making any changes, it’s crucial to research local regulations regarding wildlife protection and take steps to minimize harm while maximizing benefits for both you and your feathered friends.

Making Noise To Scare Crows Away

One effective way to keep crows away from your bird feeder is by using noise as a deterrent. Crows are intelligent birds, and they learn quickly where food sources are located. However, loud noises can startle them and cause them to fly away.

Using decoy animals is an excellent way of scaring off crows that may be attracted to your bird feeder. Placing fake owls or eagles near the feeding area creates the illusion of predators being present, which will deter crows from coming close. You should move these decoys around every few days so that the crows do not become accustomed to their presence.

Another useful tool for keeping crows at bay is installing motion sensors that trigger loud noises when activated. These devices work by detecting movement in the surrounding area and emitting loud sounds such as clapping or banging pots together, creating enough disturbance to scare the crows away.

Overall, making noise is a practical method for deterring crows from accessing your bird feeder. Using decoy animals and motion sensors can create enough chaos and disruption in the surrounding environment to make it unappealing for these birds. In our next section, we’ll explore another set of strategies that involve visual deterrents to prevent crows from reaching your bird feeders.

Using Visual Deterrents

While making noise to scare crows away can be an effective method, sometimes it may not be enough. In such cases, using visual deterrents could provide a more permanent solution. These deterrents are easy to install and can help keep crows from your bird feeders.

Here are some DIY deterrents you can try:

  • Hang shiny objects near the feeder: This will reflect sunlight and make it difficult for crows to approach.
  • Use decoys: Placing fake owls or cats near the feeder will create the illusion of danger and deter crows.
  • Install netting: Covering the feeder with small mesh netting will prevent larger birds like crows from accessing it while allowing smaller birds in.
  • Create barriers: Surrounding your feeder with prickly bushes or thorny branches will discourage crows from approaching.

If these DIY solutions do not work, you may need to consider professional solutions such as installing electronic devices that emit high-frequency sounds or hiring a wildlife control specialist who can use humane methods to remove unwanted pests.

Remember, preventing crow activity around your bird feeder is important not only for keeping them out but also ensuring other birds have access to food. Changing feeding times can reduce crow activity and allow other species to enjoy the treats available at your bird feeder.

By incorporating both DIY deterrents and professional solutions if necessary, you can successfully keep pesky crows away from your beloved bird feeders.

Changing Feeding Times To Reduce Crow Activity

Feeding frequency is an important factor in attracting certain bird species while deterring others. In the case of crows, reducing feeding times can be an effective means of keeping them away from your bird feeder. Crows are known for their intelligence and adaptability, so they will quickly learn when and where food is available.

To reduce crow activity at your feeder, try adjusting the time of day you fill it up. If you typically fill your feeder early in the morning or late afternoon, consider changing that routine to midday instead. This may disrupt the feeding patterns of crows who have learned to visit during those specific times.

Weather conditions can also play a role in crow behavior around feeders. During periods of drought or extreme cold, food sources become scarce for all birds including crows. In these situations, crows may become more aggressive towards other birds and monopolize any available food source such as your feeder.

By adapting your feeding schedule based on weather conditions, you can help ensure that smaller bird species still have access to food without being overrun by crows. For example, during particularly harsh weather, increase the number of times per day you refill the feeder with smaller amounts of seed rather than filling it up once a day.

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Reducing crow activity at your feeder not only benefits other bird species but also helps prevent damage caused by larger birds tipping over or damaging feeders. Next, we’ll discuss ways to encourage other bird species to visit your feeder and make it a welcoming environment for all feathered friends.

Encouraging Other Bird Species To Visit Your Feeder

As the old saying goes, "birds of a feather flock together." And if you’re looking to attract more feathered friends to your backyard feeder, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost, make sure you have the right type of food available for the birds you want to attract. For example, finches love thistle seed while woodpeckers prefer suet.

But it’s not just about the food – creating an inviting environment is key. Make sure your feeder is clean and well-maintained. You may also want to consider adding water features or planting bird-friendly vegetation nearby.

Another important factor in attracting birds is discouraging other animals from stealing their food. Squirrels can be particularly pesky, but there are ways to keep them at bay. Consider investing in squirrel-proof feeders or placing baffles on poles to prevent squirrels from climbing up.

Attracting finches specifically requires some extra effort. These small birds are attracted to bright colors and enjoy perching on slender branches. Try using brightly colored feeders or hanging ribbons near your feeder to catch their eye. Additionally, offering nyjer seeds (also known as thistle) can entice finches to visit regularly.

Nested bullet point list:

  • When attracting finches:

  • Use bright colors

  • Offer nyjer seeds

  • Provide slender branches for perching

  • Discouraging squirrels:

  • Invest in squirrel-proof feeders

  • Place baffles on poles

  • Position feeders away from trees that squirrels could jump from

  • Creating an inviting environment:

  • Keep feeders clean and maintained

  • Add water features or bird-friendly plants nearby

  • Avoid disturbing the area around the feeder with loud noises or sudden movements

Remember, attracting birds takes patience and persistence. But by following these tips, you’ll create a welcoming space that will encourage a variety of bird species to visit your feeder. Happy bird watching!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Lifespan Of A Crow?

Crows are highly intelligent birds with complex social behavior. They have been known to use tools, solve puzzles, and even mourn their dead. In terms of lifespan, crows can live up to 8-12 years in the wild, but some have been recorded living for over 20 years in captivity. This longevity is likely due to their adaptability and resourcefulness in finding food and avoiding predators. Additionally, research has shown that crows may benefit from strong social bonds within their family groups, which could contribute to their overall health and survival. Overall, crow behavior and intelligence make them fascinating subjects for study and observation by ornithologists and wildlife experts alike.

Do Crows Only Come To Bird Feeders During Certain Times Of The Day?

Isn’t it ironic that many bird enthusiasts ask if crows only visit feeders at certain times of the day? After all, these intelligent birds are known for their opportunistic feeding habits and adaptability to various environments. In terms of crow behavior, they may be more active during early morning or late afternoon hours when searching for food. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t visit your feeder throughout the day. Crows have been observed visiting feeders in both urban and rural areas, often competing with other birds for a tasty snack. So while you might want to keep them away from your feeder to protect smaller bird species, don’t underestimate the cunning nature of our feathered friends.

What Are Some Natural Predators Of Crows?

In the world of predator-prey relationships, crows are relatively high up on the food chain. They have few natural predators that pose a significant threat to their survival. However, there are some animals that may prey upon crows in certain circumstances. These include larger birds of prey like hawks and eagles, as well as mammals such as foxes or coyotes. While these predators can help keep crow populations in check, they are unlikely to be effective deterrents for keeping them away from bird feeders or other sources of human-provided food. Instead, using natural deterrents such as decoys or unpleasant odors can be more effective strategies for protecting your feeder from pesky crows.

Can Crows Be Trained To Stay Away From Bird Feeders?

Crow behavior can be complex and difficult to predict, but it is possible to train crows to stay away from bird feeders. It’s important to note that this process may take time and patience. One approach is to modify the design of your bird feeder so that it discourages crow activity. For example, a tube-shaped feeder with small openings will prevent larger birds like crows from accessing the food inside. Another option is to create an alternative feeding area specifically for crows using different foods they prefer such as peanuts or suet cakes. By consistently placing these preferred foods in a designated spot, you can gradually teach crows where they are allowed to eat and help minimize their presence around your other bird feeders.

How Do Crows Affect The Ecosystem?

Have you ever wondered about the impact of crows on our ecosystem? Crows are known scavengers and play a crucial role in cleaning up carrion. However, they can also have negative effects on agriculture as they consume crops and prey on smaller birds that farmers rely upon for pest control. Despite this, crows should not be seen as solely destructive creatures but rather as an essential part of our natural world with both positive and negative impacts. Understanding their behavior and finding ways to mitigate any potential harm is key to maintaining balance in our environment.


In conclusion, keeping crows away from your bird feeders is a constant battle. But like any pest control problem, prevention is key. Consider investing in specialized squirrel-proof or crow-proof feeders that will deter these pesky birds from invading and stealing food from your feathered friends.

However, it’s important to remember that crows are an integral part of our ecosystem and serve as scavengers who help clean up the environment by consuming carrion and other waste products. They also have impressive cognitive abilities and can even recognize individual human faces! So while we may want to keep them away from our bird feeders, let’s not forget to appreciate their unique place in nature’s grand design. As wildlife experts, it’s our job to balance human needs with conservation efforts for all species, including the clever and cunning crow.

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