Preparing Your Location for the CrowBox
This article describes a simple feeding program that we use to prepare a location for corvids before deploying a new CrowBox. We suggest you start this program one or two weeks before you plan to put out your CrowBox. Better still, begin around the time you are buying your parts and continue while you build your CrowBox.
A. Before you can begin, you must choose the spot where you will place your CrowBox. For help with this see the article on selecting a location here.
B. OK, feeding time! The whole idea here is to get corvids used to finding food at the location where your CrowBox will one day appear. The type of food used is important; Our research indicates two food items which, when offered together, are quite effective at attracting corvids:
- Roasted, unsalted, shell-on peanuts
- Baked Cheetos or similar baked cheese snack
C. As you can probably tell, it’s important that the peanuts be unsalted and that the cheese snacks be the baked type; This avoids exposing the birds to trans fats and excess sodium which are foreign to their diet.
D. The feeding program couldn’t be simpler:
- Scatter a handful of food mixture at your location. About six pieces of each type of food.
- Wait for corvids to locate and eat the food.
- Replace food after it has all been eaten. Only do this one or two times per day.
We’ve built a simple google form that feeds into a spreadsheet (you can see an example of the spreadsheet here and the form here - copy them for your own use!) so you can just open your phone every time you take an action or want to make a note on a piece of video. Remember, the more you write down, the better your outcomes will be!
F. Some tips:
- Use the peanut and cheese snack food mix. Other foods may attract birds which are not corvids.
- You may have to outsmart local squirrels if they steal the food. Use a pole and/or baffle.
- Be patient. Give the corvids time to locate the food and work up the nerve to come take some.
- Don’t put out too much food! Just one handful of the food mixture each time.
- Once all food is eaten, wait one or more hours before putting out more.