Have crows ever strangely appeared to follow you around town or on walks for seemingly no reason? Their shadowy presence can feel eerie when a big black corvid mimics your path from overhead or between perches. But in reality, logical explanations underlie this phenomenon many people report. Why Do Crows Seem to Follow People has to do with their intelligence and curiosity more than malicious intent. Understanding a bit about crow behavior demystifies the ways they interact with humans below.
Common Crow Movement Patterns
Crows don’t truly set out to actively stalk people without cause. Their intelligence does compel them to investigate us curiously within territories. And crows do tend to exhibit predictable daily paths and activity patterns they might loosely conform to without targeting anyone specifically at all.
Some examples of usual crow movement routines include:
- Foraging routes – Seeking efficient paths between productive food spots
- Communal roost flyways – Following kin and neighbors to and from shared sleeping spots
- Patrolling territories – Guarding areas identified as their home ranges against intruders
- Mobbing threats – Attempting to chase dangers away from the flock
So rather than intentionally tracking people, crows just go about their usual business that might coincidentally send them repeatedly crossing human paths they observe and assess.
Why Follow At All Though?
Assuming they aren’t diverted by harassment efforts or offered treats, most crows primarily devote interest to humans for these reasons:
Identifying threats – Crows scrutinize any novel creatures to determine if they seem potentially threatening to feeding, nesting or young.
Instinctive mobbing – Many birds instinctively mob and attempt driving away perceived predators from territories by dive-bombing overhead.
Claiming food – They compete among themselves, so a crow may hope to claim anything edible people discard.
Warning others – By noisily tracking humans, crows alert kin to unknown beings passing through to investigate themselves.
Guiding young – Adult parents teach juveniles dangers to recognize and how to react to safely scare them away.
So while unnerving when targeted,no malicious or mysterious intent drives crows to linger near or pursue people passing by them. They likely just casually monitor surrounding threats and opportunities as clever opportunists.
Table: Reasons Crows Commonly Follow Humans
|CauseTypical Crow BehaviorsHow to PreventIdentifying potential threatsPerching nearby Watching closely Shadowing footsteps Calling loudlyAvoid crow nest zones Don’t appear threateningHarassing dangers awayDive-bombing Screeching Following persistentlyCarry umbrella Trim trees by structures Scare with effigiesAttempting stealing foodLanding behind you Waiting below Expectantly watching humans eatSecure trash Eat indoors Stop feeding themWarning others about intruderLoud calls Gathering flockmates to investigate tooMove briskly onwardTeaching young about threatsAdult demonstrates harassing Joint mobbing with youngNever harm crows Use positive deterrents
In extremely atypical cases, an individual crow may become overly habituated to expecting handouts or aggressively bluff attacking certain hated people. That likely stems from past provisioning or conflict incidents teaching particular birds to target select folks. Avoiding any engagement usually resolves such scenarios.
Crows don’t actually set out to purposefully follow random people without cause despite sometimes giving that temporary illusion. They normally just perform typical territorial monitoring duties near humans coincidentally moving through areas crows move through too at times. Simply understanding normal corvid behavior provides the reassurance to coexist alongside these engaging birds calmly.
FAQs: Why Do Crows Seem to Follow People
Do crows recognize individual people?
Yes, research confirms American crows remember and warn family about dangerous humans by visual ID for many years after conflicts. Peacemaking helps reset bad reputations over time.
How do you identify and stop nuisance crows?
Will a particular crow follower ever give up?
If preventing access, crows do eventually stop responding to specific people appearing no longer relevant over weeks. But past feeders may remain harassment targets longer.
Can walking another direction stop crows shadowing you?
Yes, changing routes and continuing moving often discourages crows uninterested in travelers just passing through their territory without incident.
Why do crows gather near some people?
If mobs form consistently around particular people, crows likely connect them with past food handouts or aggression and thus identify them as either resources or enemies warranting special notice.