14 Proven Tips to Scare Off Crows (and Magpies) Fast

how to scare off crows and magpies

There is a reason why scarecrows were invented- to keep crows away!

These pesky birds can cause a whole lot of havoc if you do not make sure that you prevent their presence in your outdoor area.

You are sure to find a multitude of issues that they can create for you.

These include bitten off crops, plants, and so much more! 

So, what’s the best solution for all this? What can you do to stop crows and magpies? Let’s find out…

How to Keep Crows and Magpies Away?

Well, there isn’t just one thing that you can implement to keep the crows and magpies away.

Mostly because they’re smart birds who find their way around a lot of things.

Instead, you should try to mix and match a few techniques to make sure to let them know that they are not invited to your home!

Let’s take a look at 12 ways that you can effectively keep crows away from your home. 

1- Create an Unattractive Location for Them

Are you wondering how this may be possible?

Well, take a look at your backyard. Does it look clean or dirty?

If it is on the dirtier end, then that is probably one of the main reasons why you see too many crows around.

Crows thrive in dirty locations and your home must give off the perfect vibes to them. 

Do you want them gone? Get your cleaning items together and go out to clean your yard!

You can also call up a professional service to make your home’s outdoor area look perfectly neat and tidy.

Your clean and tidy yard will definitely become an unattractive location for crows.

So, it is best to get to work if you want them gone. 

2- Build A Scarecrow- It Works for A While

You have probably seen scarecrows in various cartoons, shows, and much more.

But the question is, do they work? Well, this method wouldn’t be here if it didn’t!

However, you need to be smart about creating a scarecrow.

A mannequin won’t do. Instead, you will need to ensure that there is some movement in your scarecrow to be effective. 

So, what you can do is get a bamboo stick and add the relevant features to it.

Also, make sure to add something like a plastic bag that will float in the wind to scare away the crows.

Keep updating your scarecrow so that it remains effective. Otherwise, after a while, the crows will get used to it. 

3- Place Shiny Things Throughout the Yard

For some reason, shiny things (like CDs, mirror, etc) always make birds run away.

Its also believed that crows are afraid of their own reflection.

So, why not make the most of this technique?

You don’t have to put something shiny at every step of your yard.

All you have to do is observe the main spots where the crows come to and add a few shiny elements here and there. 

If you don’t know what exactly shiny elements can consist of, then worry no more!

Just grab your aluminum foil and create cuttings out of it to hang around or place in your yard.

You can also use your old music CDs or some old shining plates to hang close to each other.

This proves to be a pretty great way to keep all of those pesky crows away. 

4- Make Use of Distracting Sounds

One thing that will scare away most animals and birds is different kinds of sounds.

Try to place a few noise machines in your yard to make sure that this is the most effective.

Also, adjust the noise levels so that your neighbors don’t come complaining!

Now, if you get a hold of distress call sounds from crows, then you will be good to go.

Search online and you will surely find something that will work.

This way, the crows will know not to come to that particular area, and you will also be free of them!

5- Bird Netting Can Do Wonders

If you think that nothing can help you, then perhaps bird netting is the perfect option for you.

This is perhaps the most low-maintenance option out there as you do not have to do much to make sure it works properly. 

It is, however, one of the best ways that you can ensure that crows are far from your home.

Bird netting works wonderfully if you make sure to get one with a small mesh.

This way, it will keep the crows out of your area and away for good!

6- Install a Fake Dead Crow

A fake dead crow is one of the best solutions to keep away “murder” of crows and magpies.

These are available at your favorite shopping stores like Amazon at a dirt-cheap price.

You will just need to hang one upside down by tying a string to its feet.

Make sure to locate it where the group of crows pays frequent visits – maybe somewhere to keep it moving with the wind.

This will create a disturbing effect on the minds of real crows when they think that their member is shot dead and hanged.

Since they consider this to be a dangerous sign, they will never return to that place again.

7- Place A Moving Owl Decoy

You will find that many people place variations of owl pieces in their yards to keep crows away.

But do all of them work? Not entirely.

So, which ones do work for this? You will have to get a bit creative about this one. 

Try to find a fake owl decorative piece that run on solar energy.

This will ensure that they are making some sort of movement throughout the day.

Also remember, since crows are super intelligent, they can easily make a difference between the fake and an original animal/bird in the yard.

So, for scaring away the uninvited birds successfully, make sure that you change the positions/locations of your decoy.

Not only will this help get rid of your crow problem but you will also have a beautiful decoration piece to add to your outdoor area!

8- Use real crow predators to your advantage

If you think that a fake decoy cannot work to scare the crows in your garden, you can take the help of real animals like your cats or dogs or other pets at home.

Leave them in your backyard at the time when the crows are mostly seen there.

This way they can scare the crows and magpies to prevent them from coming near your home.

9- Make Sure They Can’t See Your Trash

Crows love dirty places, areas that have food remnants, and similar locations.

So, we can assume that they will be keen on being around your trash bin.

The more obvious you make your trash bins, the more crows you will attract.

You don’t want that, do you?

The best solution for you is to cover all of your trash so that they cannot see any kind of thing that they can be attracted to.

It’s best to cover your trash with tight-fitting lids no matter what if you want them gone from your yard!

10- Get the Right Bird Feeder

It is pretty normal for you to have a bird feeder outside your home. But that might be one of the main reasons for the presence of crows.

If you have a large bird feeder, then you are welcoming the crows with open arms.

If you want them gone, then get rid of that large bird feeder! 

Instead, you should get your hands on something like a crow and grackle-proof bird feeder that is made for small birds to feed on.

Another good technique to deter crows from bird feeders is by shortening or removing their perches.

By doing this, small birds can still feed but larger birds like crows, magpies, grackles, and others will find it hard to land and sit on.

Also, remember to keep the area of the bird feeder clean so that you can easily make sure that there are no crows around your home. 

11- Keep Your Trees and Yard Free of Dead Branches

Almost every type of bird will try to find as many twigs, broken or dead branches, and other things around to build their nests.

Crows will actively be on the hunt to find dead branches for their nests, so you don’t want to help them find the ideal location outside your home. 

What you can do is make sure that you get rid of all sorts of dead branches in your yard and those that are upon your trees through regular maintenance.

This will definitely lower the possibility of crows creating their nests in your yard. 

12- Eliminate All Possibilities of Food and Water Availability

You might not know this but crows can eat almost anything that you leave out in the trash.

If there’s something edible, they’ll be the first ones there.

So, you want to make sure that you leave no traces of food around your yard.

This means that you need to keep your edible trash covered and away from the exposure of any crows. 

If you fail to do this, then you will be inviting many more crows to your yard as they can communicate really well.

Eliminate all these possibilities to make sure that you do not have to deal with the aftermath of a crow attack on your trash. 

13- Get an Automatic Sprinkler

Birds don’t like excessive water because their feathers get wet and that makes it hard for them to fly.

The same thing goes for crows.

If you want them gone, then getting an automatic sprinkler is just the thing you need. But how will it work? 

Well, if you get a sprinkler with motion sensors installed, then this will be the most ideal solution for you.

Whenever the sprinkler will sense something, it will start the waterfall! 

This is bound to make all the crows fly away for cover.

They will also signal others to stay away from the area.

Also, make sure that your sprinkler doesn’t accumulate water in any location, otherwise, it will do the opposite of what you bought it for. 

14- Place Bird Steel or Plastic Spikes

The last thing on this list is to install bird spikes wherever you possibly can.

Your home’s roof and the fences are the ideal locations for installing bird spikes as this will ensure that they don’t get a place to sit. 

Steel spikes mostly work better than any other type of crow repellents.

But if they are not available, then plastic spikes can also easily work, as long as they are sharp enough. 

magpie catching insect
Magpie eating insect in the garden

Why are There So Many Crows in Your Yard?

Crows usually lay 4 to 6 eggs at one time and raise their nestlings from March through June.

You may see the young crows migrating with their adults to their original location during the next season to enjoy another well-kept garden along with some insects in the turf.

Few reasons the group of crows may be seen in your yard or roof are:

1- They are Social:

Crows and magpies are usually social birds amongst their species and you can see hundreds of birds migrating together in the search of food.

Since they are completely omnivorous and can be seen looking out for food in trash cans, roofs, and insulation you will often find them in groups in your yard too.

2- Food and Backyard Attractions:

As per the lifestyle of a crow, a perfectly designed landscaped back yard along with some plants and garden veggies may attract a hungry crow.

Such yards may also have some good species of insects and almost no rural predators to hunt them down.

So, they can carelessly enjoy some delectable food after a long day in the air.

3- Tall Trees and Pond Area in the Garden:

As crows like to roost in the air around 60 feet off the ground, tall trees of your garden may appeal to potential roosts for birds.

Crows also like to habitat in riverside regions. Crows can also pick the koi pond area of your garden as a substitute for the river.

So, make sure you keep a check on your garden.

Just in case you notice that your backyard has been becoming the favorite dining room for crows and magpies, then you should take some aggressive steps to get rid of their colony.

DO YOU KNOW: What does it mean when crows gather around your house?
According to many mystics, group of crows when flocking around your house and  cawing together non-stop brings a message that’s related to death, darkness and mysticism. If you really believe, it’s time for you to pay extra attention to these omen signs or messages.

Does Setting Up a Homemade Crow Trap Work?

Crow trapping may work for you if you have a very small population coming and damaging your crops in the garden.

However, it may not work if you want to trap a large group of crows on a roosting site.

This is because there are no effective traps available on the market for capturing these birds successfully.

If you want, you will need to set up a DIY crow trap (like a ladder trap for crows built here).

The main drawback of using this type of trap is it requires regular maintenance.

This means that you will need to bait the trap with fresh water and foods like corn, fruits, or meat items daily to trap the crows in it.  

Although the device can help capture a few birds daily, you won’t be seeing a drastic difference if the total population of these social birds coming to your place is huge.

What is the Difference Between a Crow and a Magpie?

The crows, ravens, magpies and jays all belong to the Corvidae family.

While jays are easily recognizable because of their colored plumage, other members of the Corvidae family have black feathers or a mix of black and white feathers.

Though both the species (magpies and crows) like to live in open woodland regions, they can be identified easily in America due to their distinctive features.

The fact is, based on your location, it may help you better differentiate between a magpie and a crow by knowing how each one of them looks in your specific region.

Crows

Usually, there are three types of crow species in America, Corvus ossifragus (fish crow), Corvus Caurinus (North-western crow), and Corvus Brachyrhynchos (American crow).

The American crows are most common in United States.

Fish crows are like American crows and are seen in the southern and eastern coastlines.

The Northwestern crow, on the other hand, is smaller in size and mostly lives by Washington’s northern Pacific coast.

Magpies

United States has two species of Magpies – black-billed magpie and a yellow-billed magpie.

The Pica Hudsonia (black-billed magpie) resides in the north-western areas of America.

They have long tails, white and black bodies with blue color wings. Plus, they are mostly a blend of crow and jay.

The Pica Nuttalli (yellow-billed magpie) are almost the same, apart from their beak color. They are only found in California.

Crow and Magpie Differences?

The thing that tells crows and magpies apart is their different body length, weight, and wing size.

The black billed magpies measure around 17 to 23 inches because of their long tail.

And their wing size is around 22 to 24 inches and they weigh nearly 5 to 7 ounces

While the American crow has a shorter tail around 16 to 21 inches and a wing size of 34 to 39 inches.

They weigh around 11 ounces to slightly more than a pound.

As per “The Journal of Avian Biology”, the Corvidae lived on the Australo-Papuan tectonic plate when it broke from Antarctica which caused the birds to spread.

The treepies and magpies reached southeast Asia, New World Jays went to the United States, while crows and ravens moved to Europe and other temperate regions of the world.

Other Related Questions:

What do crows eat?

Crows can feed on a variety of different foods and the odds are that there may be something favorable for them in your garden.

Crows can eat insects as well as garden veggies along with road kill carrion and predator hunts.

You may often see flocks of crows hunting down frogs, snakes, and mice along with eggs of birds and even other crows.

Can you kill a crow on your roof?

If legal in your specific location or area, killing crows can be an effective solution.

However, I recommend using other methods first to frighten them and not kill them.

If allowed, you can target shoot one of them.

This will most likely discourage other crows and magpies from coming (and roost on your roof) by sending them a clear message that your place is not safe for them.

Another inhumane way to kill crows is by using a pesticide or a toxicant that is approved in your state.

What happens if you kill a crow?

Many times, when you hunt down a crow to make it die, you may see the murder (a group of crows) surrounding the deceased soon.

The funeral is not just for mourning, but to find out what has actually killed their member.

In the event, if they find any predator (or you as a killer), all of them may chase the predator or a killer to do some harm.

Are there any chemicals to repel crows?

As such there are no chemical repellents registered for crows. However, there are still some solutions that can be used to repel these birds away.

Some of these include polybutenes, methyl anthranilate, and Avipel seed treatment.

When compared, methyl anthranilate works better as it’s not necessary for crows to eat them.

You can simply create a fog that contains methyl anthranilate as an ingredient at a place where the crows tend to roost more often.

This chemical will irritate the crows and make them repel from the place.

However, do remember that this is just the temporary solution and it does not last for long.

The Conclusion

All in all, crows and magpies are common being in agricultural fields and rural areas.

But they sometimes become a nuisance, especially when they visit your place more often in large groups.

When deterring them away (without hurting them) you will have to make sure that you have the right equipment on board to get rid of all the crows.

Without putting in the right effort, you will not be able to do so.

So, make sure that you prepare yourself to have a crow-free backyard that you want to make the most of! 

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