What Do Crows Eat?

Crows are one of the most interesting types of birds in the whole world. They are incredibly crafty, intelligent, and masters at gathering food. They will use unconventional methods (at least for birds!) to get food as well.

They have been known to crack nuts by taking them high up and dropping them and they will often work in teams to distract fish and other small creatures so they can eat them. One of the most common questions about crows is “what do they eat?” and we are going to answer that question here!

By the end of this article, you will be even more fascinated by crows than you originally were, so let’s get started!

Photo by Imogen Warren

What do Crows eat? 

Crows are one of those birds that will eat almost anything, and we really mean anything. They are omnivores, so they aren’t bound by a strict diet, and because they are so intelligent, they will eat whatever they can in order to survive. 

“Anything” is a bit of a broad answer though, so let’s look into that in a bit more detail, so you will have a better understanding of what crows are willing to eat! 


Whether they are flying insects or ones you find on the ground, crows will eat them all! They will chase insects until they catch them and they aren’t fussy about which ones they’ll consume. 

They eat so many insects in fact that there is an ongoing debate on if their impact on the bug world is beneficial or a hindrance! 

Seeds & fruits

Crows are also quite happy to eat seeds and fruits. This is what most of their diet is made up of, and they will usually choose seeds and fruits before they eat anything else. Some of the crow’s favorite types of seeds and fruits include watermelons, pistachios, corn, wheat, oats, bittersweet nightshade berries, grapes, and poison ivy. 


This might be a shock to some, but yes, crows will and do eat other birds! They don’t care if the bird is newly hatched or an adult, if they are hungry enough, they will eat them.

They especially like to eat bird species such as European Starlings and House Sparrows. Crows are not shy about hunting other birds either, and they have been known to catch their prey while flying! 


As we have previously mentioned, crows will work in teams to distract fish so they can pick them off and eat them. They will wade into the water and catch fish and they will also feed on fish carcasses if they are unsuccessful in catching live prey. 


Crows are quite large for standard birds, but they aren’t large enough to take on things like mountain lions! Instead, they tend to prey on mammals such as bats, shrews, deer mice, and voles. 

Photo by Imogen Warren


Similar to their raven cousins and vultures, crows are not opposed to feeding on carcasses when they have to. They will happily scavenge if their other food sources are not yielding any results. They will feed on carcasses of all kinds as well, so this includes roadkill. 

Human food

It should come as no surprise at this stage that crows will happily eat human food too. Crows are very common in urban areas in this day and age, so they have adapted quite well to the environment. They will eat lots of food in human areas, including dog food and even trash. 

Amphibians and reptiles

Crows will eat practically any amphibians and reptiles. They have been known to prey on snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs, and toads. They are especially nonbias when it comes to turtles because they will eat them regardless of which stage in their life they are at.

Photo by Rhododendrites

Bird eggs

Crows are also known to invade and raid the nests of other birds that live in their territory. Bird eggs are filled with protein that is incredibly beneficial to crows, and they have no reservations about stealing eggs! They especially like the eggs of sparrows, robins, and mallards. 

What do baby crows eat?

Now you know what adult crows eat, you might be wondering what the babies eat too. Baby crows eat different things depending on which stage of life they are in.

Freshly born crows will simply eat partially digested food from their parents for the first few weeks of their life, so they eat whatever their parents can find for them. 

As they get older and become larger, they are fed animal corpses that have been brought to them by their parents.

They will eat lots of smaller corpses that range from insects, reptiles, and even amphibians. 

Photo by Chris F.

Transporting food

You might be wondering how crows transport their food, and the answer is a lot more simple than you might originally think. If the food is large, they will just transport it via their bills, but in some cases, they will also use their feet. 

Smaller food is easier for crows to carry because they have an extendable pouch located at the base of their throats, so they just put it in there. Because crows are so intelligent, transporting food is rarely an issue for them. 

Photo by Freddie Ramm

Crow caches

Crows really use their brains, and they are known for hiding food in secret locations so they can come back and consume it later! These caches are kept in a variety of places, with some of the most common being places like under snow, in trees, or even strategically hidden places on the ground. 

They will hide pretty much whatever they can get their hands on, so the things they keep in their crow caches vary! 

Final Thoughts

Crows are incredibly intelligent and interesting birds, and their diet is definitely something to talk about! They aren’t scared to eat whatever they can get their hands on, and because they are omnivores, this means that they can eat a lot more than some other species of birds. 

Crows really will eat anything, so if you want to feed a crow yourself, try it out! 


Do crows eat live animals?

Crows are omnivores and opportunists so they will eat anything they can. They prefer easy meat, ie, dead animals as the flesh is easier to tear off. However, they will take eggs, nestlings and small live animals if the opportunity arises.

Are crows good for the garden?

Yes, they are. As they like to eat insects, grubs and other unwanted beasts in the garden, they are good to have around. Consider them like nature’s own pesticide.

Do crows eat animal eyes?

Yes, they do. They will pick at the eyes of dead animals as they are soft and easy to rip out. They are not likely to eat the eyes of live animals as that would be too hard.

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