Crows are known to be one of the most intelligent and resourceful birds in the animal kingdom, and for many good reasons! These brilliant members of the Corvus genus know how to create and use primitive tools made from twigs and rocks, have complex means of communicating with one another, and can even remember where they store food over long periods of time.
There are about 45 different species of crows, ravens, and rooks within the Corvus genus. They exist on every continent except South America and Antarctica. They’re exceedingly clever birds, to be sure, and their unusually high intelligence means they’ve adapted to learn how to hunt and eat a wide variety of different foods.
Let’s take an in-depth look at what crows eat, their favorite meals, and the ways in which they find and hunt for food.
15 Foods that Crows Like to Eat
Crows are omnivores, meaning they eat a mixture of plants and animals that includes seeds, nuts, berries, rodents, snakes, eggs, and small fish. They’re extremely opportunistic and adaptable, which has certainly contributed to their rather long lifespans of around 20 to 30 years on average.
Most crows aren’t too picky and are more than happy to feed on a wide variety of different foods, such as:
- Various seeds and nuts
- Fruits, most commonly berries
- Garden vegetable crops
- Food scavenged from dumpsters and areas where humans congregate
- Small snakes
- Frogs and salamanders
- Small fish
As you can see, crows have learned to make use of just about any food source they manage to come across, which means they are able to quickly adapt to and thrive in a range of rural, suburban, and urban areas.
What to Feed Crows: A Crow’s Favorite Food?
While crows will happily eat just about anything to survive, they do have a few foods they tend to enjoy more than others. If you’ve befriended a crow in your yard recently and want to offer them something they’ll love, consider one of their favorites:
- Nuts, namely peanuts, walnuts, and almonds
- Eggs (raw, boiled, scrambled…it doesn’t matter to a crow!)
- Meat scraps like chicken and fish
- Dry cat and dog kibble/pellet food (yes, really!)
How Do Crows Find Food?
Highly intelligent and social, crows tend to hunt and forage in family groups. These family groups usually consist of a breeding pair and their offspring from the past two to three years! They stick together for long periods of time and often work together in surprisingly complex ways to find and capture their various sources of food.
Amazingly, some crows have even learned how to use rudimentary tools to make catching prey and foraging even easier for them! A 2005 study showed how New Caledonian crows commonly use items like modified twigs, rocks, and other items to retrieve and tear into their food. Even juvenile birds were clever enough to quickly pick up on how to use these primitive tools!
This is a pretty incredible discovery, considering very few animals are intelligent enough to understand how to use objects in this way. It’s just another reason why crows are some of the brightest birds around!
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.