So I was curious about owning a pet crow, do you guys know in which state in the US it is legal and if it is a good idea. I have seen that they are very smart and I was wondering if by using this intelligence I could train it to stay in my shoulder out in public without having to clip it's wings. So can I and would it be a good idea to have a pet crow?

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    Just a wild idea: if you have crows in your area, just feed then treats. No need to make them a pet, you can just build a friendship. Nope, they won't sit on your shoulder when you go shopping, but they will wait for you to come out with a treat, and if they trust you enough after a while, they may just choose to sit on you.
    – Layna
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 8:39

4 Answers 4


Probably not

Good pet might not be the word for it. While very smart, crows need a lot of space, probably more then you can provide. And smart means they need mental stimulation. Think flying border collie.

As for fit as a pet, there are quite a number of stories around of people who made it work. Most of them have the crow outdoors with a good relation to it's humans. So, it can be done. This blog has some good ideas about it, I think.

If you still want one, check the local laws. Where I am they are not allowed as pets. But would I be living in the country side, I probably could get away with it. Oh, they are loud, like really, really loud.

Better Yet,

Go and volunteer at the local bird rescue. There you can play (kinda) with crows, get to know what they need. Then a year later, if you still want one, you know exactly how to get there. And not some internet strangers who might be right or wrong...


If you were to get a crow it would need to be from a breeder that offers crows legal to America.

"...the only way that you can legally and ethically acquire a pet raven or crow is by picking a species that is not native to the U.S. and does not migrate to any portion of the U.S."

Here's a link to this source.

Crows can be extremely expensive to own and care for and should not be confined to cages as they need plenty of room to hop and fly. If you wish to keep a crow confined you will need to construct a safe and secure outdoor aviary.


Maybe, if you could get a hatchling, in other words, very young.

I had one for over a year. I rescued him as a very young bird that fell out of a nest, he had hardly any feathers. We tried to raise him and release him but he imprinted with people and didn't know he was a bird. When released, he followed my 10 year old son to school, hopping roof to roof. The other kids were afraid of it, so my son called it and it came to him.

We moved about 75 miles. He hung around at the new house a few months (outside) then disappeared. We had some reason to believe he returned to the old house.

  • On second thought , the crow was a good pet. I can remember many things he did while I don't hardly remember the dog, cat and rabbit we had at the same time ( it was 40 years ago). One thing, he seemed to like to land on the shoulder of any visitor, and often take a dump. He grabbed a baby snapping turtle my son had in the yard, took it to the roof and ate it; bad for turtle lovers but interesting. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:28
  • Pet crow ,first flight : I took him outside, thinking he might leave. He looked around from the top of his cage and flew up 5 ft to a branch. Then another 10 ft up. Before long he had worked his way up to 80 ft. He looked down at me and his cage, pointed his head down and hopped off the branch. I know it is likely my imagination but I think I saw a "what the hell? " ,look on his face as he got close to the ground , at high speed. He made a U turn/swope a few feet from his cage and coasted about 30 feet back up in a tree. He had flown only 10 ft at time in the house until then. Then came home. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 22:22
  • -1 It is very inadvisable to raise a wild animal if you do not have the proper training/education.
    – jackwise
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 16:10
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    Do you mean I should have just killed the baby crow for its own good ? Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 16:26
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    There are wildlife rehabilitation facilities that exist to take care of situations like this. Animal shelters can also help. If you had neither of these available, it is understandable to then react as you did, but it is better to leave this sort of things to professionals.
    – jackwise
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 17:10

In theory, crows are highly social and intelligent birds, so they probably would make a decent pet. In practice, the legal (they require a special permit) and care requirements (They need an outdoor aviary, not just a cage) are likely sufficient that you'd probably be better off having a parrot in most cases (not that parrots are inexpensive easy care pets, but they'd be easier and less expensive than a crow.)

  • Do they require special permits in all states? Is it only the US that require a permit?
    – Henders
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 9:05
  • I believe that the permit requirement is a US federal law, which would cover all 50 states (and, I believe, us protectorates and territories.) In the US, you'd want to contact the US fish and wildlife service for details, as well as your state's wildlife bureau/department. Outside the US, I couldn't say, although most countries no doubt have some similar department to US fish and wildlife. Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 0:04
  • That's good to know! Maybe you could add that information to your answer.
    – Henders
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 9:48

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