Do crows eat acorns?

Yes, crows do eat acorns. Crows are not picky eaters, and they will eat almost anything that nature can offer. They can eat anything, from live prey, dead meat, to even the smallest grains and nuts. With plenty of acorns falling into the ground every time, crows make it a part of their diet.

Now, if you think that this fact is fascinating enough, wait until you see the way they eat these nuts.

But before that, let’s first look into acorns more.

What are acorns, and why do crows eat them?

What is an acorn?

An acorn is a nut of the oaks and their close relatives.

A single acorn contains a single seed enclosed in a tough leathery shell. You can identify an acorn with ease as they have a unique cup-shape form.
Acorns can take six up to 24 months to reach maturity. The length depends on the type of acorn.

This kind of nut comes in different varieties throughout the United States.

While they are fruits, they don’t carry the same name as their tree, like acorns. Thus, coming from an oak tree, acorns are also known as oak nuts.

Different oaks produce acorns, each with its unique size and shape apart from the others. Thus, acorns help in identifying the type of oak a specific tree is.

Now, you may be wondering what associates an acorn with a crow.

Aside from becoming a food for crows, acorns come in oak trees, to which crows can also nest or rest.

Oak Trees and Crows

A lot of myths and stories have associated crows and oak trees. Most of these stories were not only mythical but also scary.

As fruits of oak trees, acorns become food for crows nesting or resting in their origin tree.

In general, oak trees are tall, as some species can even grow to a hundred feet.

Oak trees spread into wide branches. Thus, they become a perfect nest for crows, as well as for other wildlife.

In this sense, many animals, including crows, favor acorns and consider these nuts as part of their meal.

Acorns as food for crows

While acorns can be the primary source of food for other wildlife, it’s not the same with crows.

Crows eat acorns not because they want or need, but because it is the most available for them in that place.

Unlike any other animals, crows are famous for being opportunistic hunters and eaters. It means that they eat anything they see available.

Thus, with crows spending their time in oak trees or near such trees, they see acorns as the most available.

Further, as smart creatures, they tend to avoid hunting for food that poses grave threats. With acorns falling on the ground, acorns provide the most accessible source of food for them.

Where do crows find acorns?

Crows find acorns in the ground, near oak trees where they came from and fell.

Like stated above, acorns are the fruit of the oak tree. Inside an acorn, there is a seed that can grow new oak trees.

An acorn falling on the ground is not an accident, but rather, a part of its lifecycle.

For this reason, fallen acorns are the seeds that can grow, and at the same time, can become feed for wildlife.

With crows living near an oak tree, acorns become a part of their diet.

Where do acorns grow?

Oak trees can grow in areas that have a temperate and tropical climate. Thus, a lot of oak trees grow in regions of Asia and North America.

Crows can live almost everywhere. Thus, only a few crows get to eat acorns. These crows are only those who live in the regions where oak trees are widespread.

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Are acorns safe for crows?

Acorns are not for every animal, but they are safe for crows to eat.

A lot of animals, especially feral animals, depend and eat plenty of acorns.

Even so, a lot of animals can be in danger by eating acorns.

Raw acorns contain tannins which can be poisonous to horses, cattle, and dogs.

Tannins can also be toxic to humans and may even cause an unpleasant bitter taste.

Thus, it shows that raw acorns are only food for the wild.

Crows only peck at acorns that have fallen on the ground. It is because fallen acorns are already ripe and are good to eat.

Acorns can be safe for humans only through leaching, which is through either hot or cold water.

Crows, together with other wildlife, don’t need leaching, as they can tolerate raw acorns.

Now comes the exciting part.

If acorns are safe for crows, how do they eat them?

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How do crows eat acorns?

Acorns can be a hard thing to crack, but that is only a problem for crows. For other animals, breaking it is easy.

Woodpeckers have sharp beaks, and squirrels have sturdy teeth. Other animals can eat it whole without cracking.

Even so, for crows, they use their brains.

Since this problem makes it hard for crows, they created a solution to solve it.

There are two ways that crows can crack open an acorn and any other nuts. They are:

Dropping it from an altitude

Crows are smart enough to crack a nut by grabbing one and then flying high.

Once they have obtained a high altitude, they drop the nut and let the fall crack it open.

For some nuts, this method has worked. And it became one of their systematic ways of consuming nuts.

Even so, there are other kinds of nuts that are hard enough to endure a fall.

Thus, they improvised another, and this method involves cars.

Cracking it with moving cars

Crows have found out that moving cars can crack their nuts.

While it’s not precisely how they learned it, they probably did upon eating roadkills.

Crows are famous roadkill hunters. Thus, they must have learned that as much as a car can squeeze the life out of an animal, the same thing can be for nuts.

If a nut is hard to crack even with a drop from above, they drop it in a road where cars usually move.

Afterward, they wait from a distance until a car cracks the nut open for them.

Now, if you think it’s dangerous to eat on the road, they also made some precautionary measures about it.

If a car is approaching while the crow is eating, the other crows by the road will warn the crow by their loud caws.

These methods are some of the ways that prove how crow adapt to their surroundings.

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How often do crows eat acorns?

It does not show how often crows eat acorns. Even so, crows would eat acorns as long as they see one available.

A crow feeds on anything they see, any time of the day. For crows that live away from oak trees, they don’t have access to acorns, and so they don’t eat even a single acorn.

For crows that live near an oak tree, or in areas where acorns are plenty, they can eat to their fill and as much as possible.

Is it okay for crows to eat Acorns?

While acorns can be dangerous to other animals, it is okay for crows to eat them all day.

If you worry about crows eating acorns, you should note that it’s not dangerous for them.

Crows can tolerate anything, as they are omnivores. They have an enhanced digestive system that can adapt to all kinds of food for their survival.

If an acorn is small enough, they can eat it as a whole. If not, crows can crack it open using their methods above.

What are the benefits of acorns to crows?

Acorns, like any other nuts, are healthy and contains a ton of nutritional values.

Acorns contain large amounts of proteins that crows need. These nuts also have carbohydrates, fats, and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Like any other nuts, acorns provide crows the energy they need for their daily survival.

What other animals eat acorns?

Aside from crows, acorns are a source of food for many other animals. Some animals even depend on acorns as food for their survival.

Among such animals include:


  • Long-snouted and short-snouted acorn weevil
  • Acorn moths and their caterpillars


  • Wild Turkeys
  • Woodpeckers
  • Bobwhite Quail
  • Mallards
  • Wood Ducs
  • Jays

Small Mammals

  • Tree Squirrels
  • Fox Squirrels
  • Flying Squirrels
  • Rabbits
  • Mice
  • Voles
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums

Large Mammals

  • Wild Hogs
  • White-tailed Deers
  • Red and Gray Foxes


  • Crows do eat acorns. They are omnivores and aren’t picky eaters. Thus, with plenty of acorns available, they will consume these nuts to their fill.
  • An acorn is simple a nut of the oak tree. Acorns make a good diet for crows living in the same oak tree and for those nearby.
  • Crows usually pick acorns on the ground. If the acorn is small enough, they can eat it as a whole. If not, they will crack it open.
  • Acorns grow in temperate and tropical climates, such as in Asia and North America.
  • While acorns can be toxic for others, it is safe for crows.
  • Crows use their intelligence in eating acorns. The method can be cracking it up by dropping or by letting a moving car crack it.
  • Crows often eat acorns as long as they are available.
  • Acorns have many benefits for crows, as well as for other animals that will eat one.
  • Aside from crows, other animals eat acorns.

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