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Do Crows Like Shiny Things? Myth or Reality?

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two crows perching
A few bird species are attracted to shiny things for one reason or another. Some try to steal shiny objects to decorate their nests with and to attract other birds. The most common types of birds that seem to like shiny things include the Blue Jay, the Magpie, and the Jackdaw. Although the crow has been thought to like shiny things, this just simply does not seem to be the case. So, is the idea that crows like shiny things just a myth? Yes, it is. Here is what you need to know about crows and shiny things.

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Crows Are Actually Afraid of Shiny Things

Opposite of what is told as folklore, most crows act as if they are afraid of shiny things. Some crows fly away from anything shiny that they come across. Others do not seem to be alarmed by it, but they do not show any attraction to it. Shiny things typically mean danger to crows because of the inconsistent lighting that they regurgitate into the atmosphere. One second, a shiny thing is bright and eye-blinding, and the next second, it is dark and curious. Crows do not usually want to stick around to find out what a shiny thing will do next.

Crow in the wild
Image Credit: Pixabay

Crows May Try to Damage Shiny Things

Some crows make it a point to damage shiny things when they come into contact with them. You may see a crow kicking or pecking at a shiny object that is lingering in your yard. Or you might see a crow divebomb a shiny object that they see inside a window of your home or car. However, crows tend to prefer staying far away from shiny things whenever possible.

Some people even use shiny things such as old CDs and disposable aluminum pans to detract crows from entering their yards. These objects are hung from trees and homes throughout the property to minimize the chance that crows will come and stay.

Old CD's hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Nantapop, Shutterstock

Here’s What Actually Attracts Crows

The only thing that effectively attracts crows is food. These opportunistic birds will go just about anywhere to get their beaks on an easy meal. When crows find a place to hang out where people often leave food scraps behind, like in a park, chances are that the crows will spend most of their time there. Some people like to attract crows to their yards because they help clean up fallen berries, unwanted insects, and even rats. Attracting crows to your yard is easy — just leave whole-grain bread or fruit out in the yard. The crows are sure to find it!

crows on grass
Image Credit: Capri23auto, Pixabay

Crows Sometimes Offer Shiny Rewards

There are times when a crow will not shy away from something small and shiny. Sometimes, crows seemingly decide to leave gifts for people who are kind to them and feed them. One lady in San Francisco who feeds a group of crows that hang out on her fire escape regularly receives gifts from the crows. Some of the gifts are shiny, like champagne bottle wrappers. Crows might offer up colorful rocks, nuts, and shells as gifts too.

crow bird perching on wooden chair
Image Credit: Piotr Velixar, Shutterstock

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Crows are smart, sociable, and extremely aware of their environments. Now that we have established that they do not fancy shiny things, we can make adjustments to our property accordingly. When it comes to crows, avoiding shiny objects is more likely than attacking them. So, there is no reason to worry about the expensive shiny wind chime that you have hanging outside.

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.