Crows are clever and fun birds, but can they be kept as pets? For most people, the answer is no. Why? Because when crows live with humans, they become uninterested and unhappy. Crows require a lot of space to move around and things to keep their minds busy. If they can’t fly freely and engage in exciting activities, crows become bored and start causing damage. This is why their high intelligence doesn’t work well for a life as pets.
Let’s explore more about why crows aren’t good choices as pets, how they differ from typical pet birds, and how we know about their exceptional intelligence. We’ll also suggest some other bird species that are better suited to being pets.
Can Crows Be Good Pets?
Have you ever met someone who has a pet crow? If you have, it might have surprised you. You’ve surely seen crows flying in the sky, perched on houses, or searching for food in the park. However, you probably haven’t come across a pet crow, and there are good reasons for that.
The truth is, that crows are not suitable pets in any situation. They are not designed to live in captivity. Crows are too smart to be confined, and they need a large space to move around. When kept as pets, crows don’t live as long as they do in the wild. They can experience health issues and mental problems, but these are just some of the challenges that come with trying to keep a crow as a pet.
Crows Are Wild Animals
Crows are not domesticated animals, so if you want a pet crow, you’d have to catch one from the wild. This raises a moral issue. Imagine someone taking you away from your free life and putting you in a cage for the rest of your days. You probably wouldn’t like that. Well, it’s the same for crows. In the wild, they have the whole world and open skies, something you can’t replicate at home. Taking a crow from its natural habitat is cruel, and keeping it in a cage is even worse.
Also Read: Can Crows Talk
They Need Sunbathing
Crows enjoy sunbathing, and it’s not just for fun. Like humans, crows need vitamin D, and they get it from the sun during sunbathing. You might think placing the crow’s cage by the window would work, but it’s not quite the same. Your crow could end up lacking vitamin D, which could harm its health.
It’s Against the Law in Many Places
Crows are migratory birds. In the United States, they’re protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes it illegal to capture, trade, sell, transport, or kill migratory birds, including crows. There are exceptions that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits, but they are rare and won’t be granted for keeping crows as pets. Trying to domesticate a crow is highly illegal and could result in federal charges, leading to fines or imprisonment.
Crows are Friendly
Birds Think about what it would be like if someone took you away from your family and kept you alone until you passed away. You’d feel really lonely and probably have problems with your mental health. Crows are also very social, just like humans. If you separate a crow from its family, it will live alone and likely become sad. They Struggle in Captivity Crows are very smart animals. They need to use their brains a lot. It’s like taking care of a two-year-old child that never grows up if you have a crow as a pet. But it’s even harder with crows because if they can’t use their smarts, think about things, and solve problems, they will have bad mental health. This is one reason why crows can go a bit crazy when they’re kept as pets.
You’d Need a Huge Cage
Crows are birds, and birds like to fly. It’s not good for a crow to be stuck on the ground or on a perch without being able to fly. A crow needs to fly for a few hours every day, and that means it needs a really big cage! You’d have to build a special place called an aviary to keep even one crow, but most people don’t have that much space or money.
Medical Help Is Hard
Because it’s very against the rules to keep a crow as a pet if it gets sick, you won’t know where to get help. Veterinarians can’t help you because they have to tell the authorities if you have a crow as a pet. So, if your crow gets sick, you’ll have to take care of it all by yourself. Do you know a lot about taking care of bird health? Probably not enough to keep a crow healthy without a professional.
What if You Find a Hurt or Left Behind Crow?
We’ve talked about why having a crow as a pet is a bad idea. But what if you find a crow that’s hurt or alone and needs help? Is it okay to take care of it? No, it’s not a good idea. If you try to help the crow, it might start to think you’re its parent, and that’s not good for the crow’s life. This is why wildlife experts hide their faces when they work with baby crows. If a crow starts to think a human is its parent, it might see people as safe and come near them, which could be dangerous for the crow.
If you find a hurt crow, you should not touch or keep it. Instead, call Wildlife Protective Services. They know how to handle these situations and can help the crow much better than you can. Plus, you’ll avoid getting into trouble because keeping a crow as a pet is very against the law.
How Do We Know Crows Are Smart?
For a long time, people have watched and liked crows because they seem really clever. We know they are clever because they show it by solving problems. For example, a crow can put small rocks into a narrow container with water until the water level rises enough for it to drink.
Crows are also smart because they use different sounds to tell other crows about different dangers. They have one sound for warning about a sneaky cat and a different sound for warning about humans coming.
Scientists have done tests with crows and found out that they can recognize human faces, use tools, and even use a paintbrush to paint. No doubt, crows are really smart, but it’s still better for them to live in the wild rather than as pets.
So, if you can’t have a crow as a pet, which birds can you have? Keep reading to find out about some other birds that can make great pets.
Final Thoughts on Pet Crows
Crows are really smart birds and they can be quite friendly too, which makes them likable to many people. However, crows are not good choices as pets for many reasons. It’s not a good situation for you or the crow. If you try to keep a crow as a pet, it will become very unhappy and stressed because it’s away from its friends and family. It won’t have enough space to fly or things to keep its brain busy, which it needs to stay healthy. And you could get into a lot of trouble for breaking the law about keeping wild animals as pets. It’s better to just be nice to crows when you see them outside or find a job where you can help them get better if they’re hurt. But whatever you do, don’t try to catch a crow and keep it as a pet. The consequences could be really serious.