I was watching the crows sitting on a tree next to my window and I was really attracted to them. So much so that I even got tempted to make them as my pets. But just like you, I was unsure about whether or not they can be pets and all other related things. So I did complete research about this topic and here’s what I learned.
Crows can’t be pets because they are wild animals and social birds requiring huge space to fly around. Keeping them in captivity can cause health problems. Also, since crows are protected under the migratory bird treaty act, they can’t be kept as pets.
With that being said, continue reading till the end to know about why exactly you can’t keep crows as pets, some alternative ways by which you can interact with them, and some other related topics. So without further ado let’s jump straight into it!
Why Can’t Crows Be Pets?
1. They Can Attack If They Get Threatened
You might think that crows are pretty friendly and gentle. Yes, they are but only if they don’t get threatened. According to birdwatchingusa.org, crows are highly territorial and protective birds.
They can be very careful whenever someone tries to enter their space. Crows are also known to remember faces of those who have threatened them. They can even bring in their family members and other members in their mob and try to attack the threatening person.
Now I know you might be thinking why bother about it if you want to make crow as pets? Actually, since they have such a ferocious nature it may not be wise to keep them as pets on top of the fact that they are wild animals.
2. General perception in family and neighborhood might not be favorable
There are many who consider having crows in house as odd as well as consider them negative. You need to be careful if you want a crow as a pet, keep in consideration of likes and dislikes of your own family members and surrounding neighbors.
3. Making Them Pets Is Not Good Because They Are Wild Animals
Crows are wild animals. You might have seen people with cats and dogs as pets. But have you seen someone with crows? Yes, you might have but the chances of it are very less, right?
It is for a reason that crows are not seen commonly as pets. You won’t find domesticated crow variety usually. So if you really decide to pet a crow then you would have to capture one from the wild which is cruel.
In the wild, they can fly around freely in the wide-open sky. But in captivity, this is not possible.
So keeping them as pets is not a great idea and it is instead quite bad to keep them in a cage.
4. Their Bite Can Hurt You
Although crows don’t usually bite humans, but once if they are pushed behind the limits then they can retaliate and give a very nasty bite on your fingers.
If you have small curious kids moving around in your house then it might not be safe to keep crows because if by chance they put their hands or harass the crow then they can just bite their soft fingers.
Remember, a crow bite can even crush a bone. So you need to really think about this point!
5. They Can Be Very Noisy Which You Might Irritating
It’s a fact that in general, crows can’t produce beautiful sounds. And if you live around crows then at least once in a while you might have felt irritated with their more squeaking type call.
If you ever wonder why crows caw non-stop, then I would highly recommend you to check out my complete article about why crows caw non-stop and what it does it mean when they do that here.
6. It Is Against Law To Keep Crows As Pets
It is important to note that crows are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act 1918. And hence, it becomes illegal to not only own a crow but also to do any kind of damage to it.
Now you might be having a question of what to do if you come across an injured crow? Well, even in such a case it is not advised to handle the injured crow yourself and instead call a well certified wildlife protective service.
You can also contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You should always contact professionals in doing such tasks because they would know exactly how to treat the injured crow in the right way and they will also be equipped with all the necessary equipment.
Remember, if you decide to take care of the injured crow by yourself without owning a required permit, then it can be confiscated from you by the respective federal authorities if someone reports to them about that and also you might get fined for such an issue.
Moreover, another thing involved with helping a crow is it might start imprinting you. Imprinting is basically a learning form in which a very young animal focuses its attention on the first object with which it has the visual, auditory, or tactile experience, and after that, it follows that object.
In simpler words, if you help the crow then it might imprint you and start accepting you as a parent and thus leave it at a disadvantage for life.
It is due to this reason only, some wildlife experts hide their faces when they work with baby crows. Now you might be thinking why this could be a problem for a crow?
Well, if a crow imprints a human then it can start seeing the people as its help and might even go to people at random which can actually be dangerous for the crow. Right?
So if you encounter an injured crow it is best to call the respective wildlife professionals for help as they are much better in handling such tasks.
7. They Need Huge Space Which Isn’t Usually Possible In Captivity
Since in the Wild, crows have access to the large open sky. They fly around the sky freely and spend their entire time enjoying this freedom.
However, if you decide to captivate them and put them in a small cage then it is really very cruel, isn’t it?
Also, if you don’t decide to put the crow in the cage but just leave them freely around your home. Still, that space will be too small as compared to the wide-open sky in nature.
You would really have to have a very large space and still, it will always be less compared to what the crows get in nature.
8. Keeping Them Alone Can Be Bad As They Are Social
Crows are social birds and not only social but they are also family-oriented. As per treehugger.com, they mate for life, and a mated pair can stay together for the rest of their lives.
Now just think, would it make sense to take such a social type bird from its natural habitat and start keeping it as a pet for the rest of its life? Obviously no, right?
9. Captivity Can Cause Health Problems In Crows
Moreover, it is true that crows are not only playful and mischievous, but they are also intelligent. They are very active and curious birds, and they can get easily bored without constant interaction or innovation.
However, the thing is that they can even go crazy if they are not able to fly around and put their skills in action.
Also, crows love to sunbathe and they need Vitamin D which they can absorb from the sun while they sunbathe.
In the wild, they can easily get exposed to sunlight while flying around in nature. But when kept captive then this can be harder. And even if you keep them near a window it just won’t be enough. So in short, in captivity, the crow can become vitamin D deficient.
10. Medical Care Can Be Hard As You Can Get Reported
As you already know by now, keeping crows as pets is illegal by law. Now, there can be any health issue with crows at some point in their life.
In such a situation, it will become very hard for you to get any kind of veterinary help because they would have to report about you and your crow to the authorities.
So you will only be left alone to treat your crow on your own which is also another big problem, isn’t it?
11. Feeding the Crows Can Become Challenging For You
Crows and especially considering the urban crows can be at times picky. They have a wide variety of food available along with the fact that they can eat anything. They are omnivorous, right?
So if you decide to keep them as pets, then giving them the food of their choice can at times become tough.
You might have to use the trial and error method to see which food they like to eat and which they don’t. Moreover, they might not like to have the same type of food daily. So it can really become another hurdle to keep the as pets.
How To Interact With Crows?
Now until now, I have shared with you all the possible reasons why crows can’t be pets. But don’t worry, I know you want to interact with the crows. So here are some alternate ways you can try out to do that:
1. Feed The Crows And Try To Befriend Them If It Is Legal
It is illegal to keep crows as pets. However, just feeding the crows might be allowed in your location. (Although it is recommended to make sure about that as well before you start feeding the crows near you)
Feeding time is a great way to interact with these intelligent birds. You can feed them healthy foods. You can keep them dry pet foods, peanuts or anything suitable to them.
Overtime as you would start feeding regularly the crows might start trusting you and you can befriend them.
2. Join The Wildlife Protection Services And Get The Chance To Interact
Another option you can try out in order to interact with the crows is join or volunteer any wildlife protection services.
If you have any wildlife protection services in your area and if you can join them then it will be one of the great ways to interact with the crows.
I agree that you may not be able to interact with the crows all the time but these wildlife services do the task of handling the wild animals and helping them. So when any crow does come then you can get the chance of interacting with it.
Furthermore, if you want to work specifically for crows then you can also become an accredited wildlife rehabilitator. Although this can be a tough challenge, if you are really passionate about interacting with crows then this is one route you can consider.
Can Crows Be Tamed?
Yes, crows can be tamed. They are quite intelligent and they can also imprint a human.
But remember, they are wild animals who are quite social and like to fly around in the wide open sky. So whatever you do, you may not be able to change their wild instincts.
But one exception to all the rules is that, any bird or animal kept as a pet from very young age such as from birth itself, would be a very friendly and more human like in it’s behavior and intimacy with you.
Do Crows Remember Kindness?
Well, yes, crows can remember kindness. This behavior of crows is very interesting.
As per bbc.com, there was a young girl in Seattle, who used to feed the crows in her garden and in return they used to bring her gifts. Doesn’t that sound cool?
Generally, there are animals known to give gifts to the members of their own species. However, crows and other corvids are some who are known to give gifts to humans.
As per John Marzluff, professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington, to form a bond with a crow you need to be consistent in rewarding them.
Marzluff and his colleague also did a study on crows and the people feeding them. It was found that crows and people form a very personal relationship.
However, it is important to consider that gifts are not always guaranteed and not all crows are going to deliver shiny objects.
Sometimes the crow would give a present that they would have gifted to their mate.
So if a crow gives you a very precious gift either for feeding it regularly and being kind to it, you can consider yourself as lucky!
Can We Talk To Crows?
Another interesting fact about crows is they can talk just like a parrot, by using their syrinx to mimic sounds and words.
However, the crow may not know what it is saying. It may be just simply mimicking the human voice.
Although, according to a research, large billed crows might be able to tell the difference between different human languages and may also pay closer attention towards an unfamiliar human language.
Do Crows Make Good Pets?
No, crows don’t make good pets. Even though you might feel them as friendly while feeding them. But when you captivate them there are many issues and challenges that you have to face on top of considering the point that owning them as pets is illegal.
They are wild animals, requiring a huge space to fly around freely. And because of their wild animal instinct, even though you keep them as pets in a cage, they may not learn to behave well.
And crows generally, don’t bite or hurt humans. However, if they are triggered to attack or harassed then they might also bite and thus making them a bit dangerous as a pet.
Another thing you might not like about the crows is the sound they make. They would rarely make any pleasing sound. Instead, if you keep them as pets then you might often have to tolerate their unpleasant sounds.
Also, it might also be difficult for you to follow up on their taste of variety. Crows usually feed over a large variety of food and may not get pleased if you give them the same food daily. So a pet owner, this can be hard for you to keep up with all of these.
To wrap up, it can be said that crows can’t be pets not only because it is against the rules to keep them as pets, but also they are not well adapted to be in captivity.
It would be much better to allow the crow to enjoy its free life flying in the open sky and looking for food with its fellow members.
However, if you are interested in interacting with them then you can either befriend them while feeding them regularly (if it is legal) or you can also get the chance to be in touch with them by joining some wildlife protection services.
So I hope now all your doubts about whether crows can be pets are solved. That’s it! Thanks.