Researchers claim that crows like to sunbathe to fulfill their requirement of vitamin D in their body.
Crows are common birds that we see everyday around us. They have a reputation of being notorious and stealing other birds' and animals' food. They belong to the family of corvidae, crow genus makes up of 1/3rd species in the corvidae family. They are believed to be natives of Central Asia but are quickly spreading to Africa, Australia, North America, and, Europe. Their life spans to 20 years old (maximum), but an American crow was reported to live for almost 30 years in the wild. Crows and ravens are not similar, some people feel there is hardly any difference between them but they certainly have very less similarities.
Crows come under the category of wild animals, therefore, keeping crows as pets is illegal in many countries. Especially USA is pretty stringent when it comes to such regulations. Getting crows as pets just to get the 'being cool' tag is being selfish, and not to forget it may lead to a short lifespan of these birds. It is due to their intelligence that people wish to keep them as pets. The fact is that that since crows are social birds they may become agitated when held in captivity. The following pointers will assist in solving your dilemma whether or not you can keep crows as pets.
They may become demented
Crows and all the members of this family are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals. Crows have quick learning ability, in fact they are brilliant when it comes to using different tools. They even know tricks on how to get food. But, if you keep a crow or a raven in a cage guess what the outcome would be? They would go crazy within few weeks and months because they are not able to fly and put their skills to practice.
Require high level of care and attention
Though they may seem like easy-going birds, you can't treat them the same way you treat your pet cat or a dog. You can't build a normal cage or buy a normal tiny bird cage which you find in a local pet store. It will be congested for them, plus unlike parrots they don't use their feet or beaks to climb. They like to hop from pole to pole and require ample amount of space to do so. So, if you plan to keep one as a pet, I would suggest you should invest in a custom outdoor aviary which keeps them safe from predators and provides space to spread their wings every now and then.
It is illegal to keep them as pets
Crows and ravens are migratory birds and are protected under the Migratory Bird Act, 1918. Any individual found to keep one as a pet, or harming a crow or their nest will be severely penalized and punished. You need to possess federal permits to own one and it is very hard to obtain a license. Unless it's a rehabilitation center, or using it for educational purposes.
Feeding a crow can be expensive and time-consuming
Crows are omnivorous meaning they will consume both meat and green vegetables. They are known to stock up on food in the wild in case of an emergency. But in captivity you need to make sure to duplicate the diet as nearly as possible. You need to feed them variety of foods and vegetables to keep them healthy, along with vitamins.
They are wild at heart
Always remember they are not domesticated animals, they have that wild streak present in them. Sometimes, when they grow older they like to challenge their master's authority. If you plan to keep them inside your house then say goodbye to your couch, furniture, draperies, bed sheets, etc. They are very social, demand attention, and, simulation. If your house will be empty all the time, they will become miserable and depressed.
As mentioned earlier they are very interactive birds, if they are not allowed to interact with other crows, mainly their family, particularly when they are young they will be shunned from Crow Society. We all know being thrown out from a group is a bad thing so that crow will be your responsibility for the next 20 years.
On a concluding note, I don't think it is wise to keep crows as pets. Their glossy and beautiful feathery look will tempt you to keep them with you, but they have a wild outlook towards life, and wild instincts that we need to respect. But if you still want one why not join a wild life rehabilitation center and learn more about them in detail. This way you will get first-hand experience of taking care of them without being the sole caretaker.