What Do Crows Eat?

An American crow's diet can include grains, berries, small animals, road kill and human food waste. They're omnivorous and adapt their diet to food that's readily available within their territory. They're primarily foragers and are most comfortable feeding on the ground.

Although crows have a reputation for being carrion-eaters, they aren't specialized scavengers, and decomposing meat forms only a small portion of their diet. Seeds, nuts and fruit are an important food source, and crows often flock in large groups to nearby orchards, grain or corn fields to feed. In spite of this, they can benefit farmers by eating a large quantity of the insects that damage crops, such as locusts, beetles and their larvae.

Crows are known to hunt larger prey as well, including mice, small reptiles and frogs. They've even been observed catching live fish. Hungry crows may follow other birds, such as sparrows and robins, and raid their nests for eggs or fledglings. In urban areas, crows frequently forage in dumps and dumpsters and often steal food from outdoor pet dishes. The best way to attract and feed crows is by spreading an easy to see food, such as peanuts in the shell or dog kibble, on an open area of land.