Asked on Jun 03, 2015

Is the crow that visits our bird bath killing our backyard birds?

by Donna
We have a crow that visits our bird bath a few times a day. Yesterday, he had the carcass of a dead bird in his mouth, and he was dipping it into our birdbath (gross, I know). We are concerned that this might be the offspring of some of the birds that have nested in our backyard. Could this crow be killing and eating our backyard birds? If so, how can we get rid of him?
  15 answers
  • Jane Herbert Jane Herbert on Jun 03, 2015
    We have crows but I've never seen them kill other birds. Watch for hawks. They can grab birds right out of the air.
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    • Judith Jones Judith Jones on Jan 18, 2019

      Crows in one afternoon took every baby bird in my neighborhood out of it's nest and dropped them to their deaths on the street and sidewalk. We haven't had nesting birds since then?

  • Suzette Trimmer Suzette Trimmer on Jun 03, 2015
    Crows are a breed of bird that will take down any other flying living thing, from my own experience. As far as riding your lovely garden of them resort back to what farmers did years ago...make a scarecrow. get it scare the crow away. The sight of any human form will present them with caution and trepidation concerning finding a new watering hole. Also 'loud' chimes help also, string up bells and or use of sun catching glare will help. Hope this helps you and all your baby birds as well.
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    • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Apr 12, 2017

      put the chimes at the ends of his arms.

  • Christine King Christine King on Jun 03, 2015
    I just went online and they say that getting rid of the crows won't make any difference with the death of the little birds, when you remove the crows then the snakes and hawks will pick up the difference.
    • Donna Donna on Jun 03, 2015
      @Christine King Yikes! I'm not sure why we're seeing hawks and crows in our backyard all of a sudden. I think they might be looking/needing the water in our birdbath. I think we will empty it for a few weeks and see if these larger birds move on. I hate to stop providing water to the birds we enjoy seeing, but hopefully this will be a quick fix. Thanks so much for your info and response!
  • Katie Dillon Katie Dillon on Jun 03, 2015
    The pecking order of birds is pretty awesome.First it's the little birds who get scooted away by the Cardinals and BlueJays.Then comes along a hawk and the bluejays go crazy and team up tp scare them away.Then comes the hawk the terror of all little critters and thats when the crows can be useful because like the bluejays chasing them away the crows will screech and pack up against the hawks in the air.At this point the trees get quite and the little birds will get to eat again.It seems the feathered friends are finding your yard a good place to hang arund and the circle of life continues on :)
    • Donna Donna on Jun 04, 2015
      @Katie Dillon Yes, it's the natural order. I just wish they'd do it somewhere else :)
  • Carole Carole on Jun 03, 2015
    It is the natural order of things. Life feeds on life. We humans may find it upsetting but we do also feed on other animals so we are not above the animals but part of the chain too. The crows have a right to live too. I would not be doing anything to get rid of the crow or crows. They are an intelligent bird and just doing what they need to do to survive. The predators of this world keep things in balance and we get rid of them at our own peril. It is true that if it were not the crow taking the odd small bird or chick it would be something else.
  • Edna Guthrie Edna Guthrie on Jun 03, 2015
    The crows will help keep the hawks away. Crows will eat dead things, so maybe he didn't kill the bird. But, they will knock other birds out of a nest to steal it.
    • Donna Donna on Jun 04, 2015
      @Edna Guthrie Thanks for this info. I feel better knowing the crows aren't eating our baby birds.
  • Jessie Jessie on Jun 03, 2015
    I had a crow that made bird nut soup in my bird bath daily, I got rid of the crow by emptying the water from the bird bath and planting flowers in it.
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    • Hali Moon Hali Moon on Apr 12, 2017

      Please don't take away the water. Your sweet songbirds need it too! You may be getting crows if you are providing birdseed with corn in it, or there is a source of corn, large sunflower seeds or peanuts nearby.

  • Beth Queen Beth Queen on Jun 04, 2015
    I seem to be overrun with crows for the last few years. My aggravation is that they are stealing my pecans right off the tree. Any ideas?
    • Donna Donna on Jun 04, 2015
      @Beth Queen Oh, that's too bad. We have squirrels who steal all the fruit off of our peach trees. We've just accepted it, but I hope someone on this thread can give you some ideas for your problem.
  • Judithatal#1 Judithatal#1 on Jun 04, 2015
    Wonderful ideas and comments. Wonder if adding another birdbath, smaller in size, in a different location in your garden would encourage the smaller birds to return.
    • Donna Donna on Jun 04, 2015
      @Judithatal#1 Oh, what a great idea! I've wanted to add another bird bath to our yard anyway. Thanks for your great suggestion!!
  • Buster Evans Buster Evans on Jun 04, 2015
    Hi Donna I raise Pigeons as a hobby.. (have since I was a boy) I am back on the home place property where I grew up... Hawks are a real problem for people who raise Pigeons... they will pick them off one by one and its really disheartening ... However Crows are the natural enemy to hawks.. So I feed the crows around here scrap bread, sometimes feed from my pigeons food and they stay around fairly close... If the hawk comes within their territory they will chase it away.. doesn't happen all the time but they are nice "protectors" around my birds.... I have seen crows find a piece of pizza crust thats hard as a rock, and take it to the birdbath and wet it to be able to eat it... Some say crows eat the eggs of other birds.. this I don't know for sure, they are very opportunistic creatures just throw a slice of bread out near the bird bath and watch the crow.. He wont let it go to waste... I am sure he means no harm, just being a crow.. Id rather have him around than a hawk... the bird he had in his beak could have died in the nest and been discarded by the parents, or fell out of the nest during a storm and the crow just spotted it and made it a meal... Hope this helps you understand the crow a little better, and you can make peace with him rather than letting his presence upset you... a Piece of bread works wonders!!
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    • I agree fully, as bad as it is to see life eat other lives to survive, crows are what I call my security guards against hawks and stray cats....they send off alarms!

  • Nancy Nancy on Jun 04, 2015
    A crow will save a bird in a heartbeat from hawks. We had a row for a pet for 17 years. Crows are very very intelligent. I have never heard of one killing a songbird. I now have a crow that sets in my front tree every day at9 am waiting for his piece of bread. He actually make a loud purring sound like a cat after I give it to him. Read up on crows. They are pretty remarkable birds. They say a crow in your yard is good luck!!!!
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    • Roanna Roanna on Oct 22, 2021

      I am so glad to read this site because I have at least seven plus crows that nest in my very tall pine trees. They are so loud when they start crowing! I always wonder what is going on and why are they so upset…… I will educate myself more about the species! I also get visited by Vultures and have had as many as 20-30 on my land. It’s scary sometimes. Trying hard to create a bird feeding location for beautiful song birds……

  • Tammy Milkovic Tammy Milkovic on Jun 05, 2015
    HI Donna, as far as I am aware crows are scavengers for sure, they will eat anything that is already dead. They are some of natures best cleaners. I myself have never heard of crows actually killing any song birds. Good luck with your birds.
    • Donna Donna on Jun 05, 2015
      @Tammy Milkovic Thank you so much for your help and information! Much appreciated!!
  • Blabbermouth Blabbermouth on Apr 10, 2017

    I have witnessed a mob of crows (it looked like adults along with juveniles) chase down a mourning dove midflight -- one of the crows caught the dove midflight with its claws, then carried it to a parking lot nearby, where it then proceeded (while the other crows watched) to kill the dove and pluck its feathers off; it then fed pieces of the dove to the juvenile onlookers. So yes, crows do kill and eat birds. They are opportunistic feeders. It is the circle of life, though, and I have no problem with it, even though I feed many songbirds in my yard. Crows and other birds have been existing together for thousands of years.

  • Suzette Trimmer Suzette Trimmer on Apr 12, 2017

    Dear Hali,

    Thank you for pointing out the errors of my answer. I never ever get upset about being told or informed to the truth or being informed as to what is ACCURATE! Nor should anyone ever, "Life is a living learning opportunity", that everyday I learn something new , then I know I have had a good day. Thank you.

  • DeLayne DeLayne on May 12, 2019

    Three days in a row. Looks like a birdie slaughter house in my birdbath. I think crows brought their meal to take it apart in the birdbath. Nothing left but just bird legs with feet and some feathers. Birdbath going away. Disturbing.

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    • Kay Kay on Jun 04, 2019

      Did you find a way to keep them away? I'm wondering if they have there own babies and once they are done feeding them, maybe they will move on.