How to Get Rid of Crows
Crows once held a superior position in mans psyche. In mythology, the crow was a companion of and traveled with many gods. Even in modern religions such as Hindu and Buddhism, the crow figures prominently. But somewhere along the line, our opinion of the crow took a left turn. No longer the companion of gods, the crow is now more closely associated with death, doom and evil. Even the name of a flock of crows, a “murder”, evokes a sense of dread. Crows and their cousins the Raven have been demonized in popular culture and modern movies, furthering the stigma.
In East Asia these birds may be considered good luck, but in America, most people consider them a nuisance. They are loud and annoying. They can devastate fruit bushes and trees, and once they establish a roost, they will tend to stay indefinitely. In sufficient numbers, crows can even pose a health and safety risk.
One trait of the crow that stands out more than any other is its intelligence. Crows are crafty birds and have even been know to make and use tools. Some species can even be trained to mimic the human voice. These big, smart birds figure things out pretty quickly. Ever hear someone say that scarecrows don’t work? That’s because after a few days or less, the crow has figured out that it poses no threat.
One method to rid your self of the birds is to just shoot them. I’m not really in favor of lethal force since there are other alternatives, not to mention if you live in the city, that’s probably not an option anyway. However if you live in the country, especially near grain fields, this may be your only option. If you plan to shoot the crows, make sure you understand the firearm regulations and hunting laws in your area first.
Because crows are so intelligent and figure things out so quickly, to get rid of them you will need to change your tactics every 2 or 3 days. Use one method, then in a few days, remove that threat and introduce another. Continue this process with several different deterrents. The idea is to make the crows uncomfortable around your area by constantly introducing threats, and then replacing them with new threats before the crows have figured out that the previous deterrent posed no threat. The following are some common deterrents that have been used to ward of crows.
Like many other intrusions by nature, providing them with a hospitable environment generally causes the presence of crows. If there is plenty of nesting and roosting room, and there are ample supplies of food and water, you have a crow’s home in the making. Start your “Battle of the Crows” by removing any water sources for the crows to drink from. Anyplace that water pools or puddles is a drinking fountain for a crow. Next, remove all food sources that you can. Ensure pet and livestock food is kept indoors and that none is left out for the crows to feed on. If you have unwanted fruit trees or bushes, you may consider cutting them down to remove that food source. If you have fruit trees or bushes you want to keep, use bird netting to put over the plant. It will help keep the crows away from this food supply.
Use sound to drive the crows away. There are devices on the market that produce a sound that is inaudible to humans and pets but drives the crows crazy. Placing these units outdoors, say around your house, is supposed to repel crows. The downside to this method is that the sound generated by these units will also drive away many other birds. Drive away too many birds and you may find yourself in a bigger pickle when the insect population starts growing for lack of natural predators. An alternative could be another device that is also placed outdoors and continually plays reproductions of birds in distress. The idea is that the crows hear this distress sound and decide that they should look for a safer place.
Another good deterrent is bird spikes. These are metal strips with little points protruding at certain intervals. These strips make it uncomfortable for the crown to land and roost on, forcing it to go someplace else to roost. A homemade version of this can be made from barbed wire. The way this works is to locate where crows have been roosting. Install the strips or barbed wire along that area. Continue this process by “following” them to their new roosting spots and installing strips there as well. The idea is that eventually, there will be no desirable locations left to roost and they will move on.
Build a scarecrow. Using poles or sticks, build a scarecrow that approximates the size of a human. Dress it in bright clothes. To make a truly effective scarecrow, try these two things. First, build your scarecrow so that the arms dangle at the “elbow”. This will allow for movement, something crows don’t like, as the wind blows on the sleeves. The second thing is to attach a photo of your self to the face of the scarecrow. Crows are known to be able to recognize individual human faces. Putting yours on the scarecrow will make it more realistic for the crow. Also, moving your scarecrow around every couple of days may increase its effectiveness.
As I said, movement is something the crow steers clear of. Installing anything that moves will help deter the crows, especially if it is shiny. Stringing pie pans or CDs together and hanging them outdoors will keep the birds away. There is also a holographic tape you can buy at many garden centers and hang in your yard to scare off crows. Whirligigs are another way to scare crows off with motion. Set in your yard and powered by the wind, the motion will keep the birds at bay for a short time. And as with all of these measures, none can be used more than a couple of days. After that, the crows are on to your game. If they figure out that your pie pans pose no threat before you take them away, they will never be effective again as the crow will remember those as not posing a threat the last time. So it is very important that you stay one step ahead of the crows.
Finally, outright noise will scare off crows. If you see them, go towards where they are and make a lot of noise. Yell, bang on something, use a bullhorn. Anything that is very loud will run them off. But, this method requires diligence. You must repeat this practice “every time” you see them or the method is ineffective.
Yes, crows are a real pain in the backside. With their high intellect they can be a formidable foe. But, one researcher has an idea on how we can harness that intellect and use it to our advantage. Because crows are so smart and easily trainable, he suggests that crows could be trained as garbage collectors. The idea is that crows would be trained to pick up garbage from the ground, say in a city park. It would deliver the trash to a sort of vending machine. When the crow placed the trash into the machine, a food reward is given to the crow for a job well done.
About Ron Warner
I have never been satisfied with things as they are. Yes I suffer from the "Grass is Greener Syndrome". I have been a ditch digger and the GM of a mortgage company. I have worked as a fry cook, Branch Manager for a major Stock Brokerage firm, a roofer, a car salesman, an IT Network Admin, a landscaper, a radio DJ and the list goes on. 30 years of exposure to such a variety of professions and vocations has given me a wealth of knowledge and a unique insight of the world around us. My family and I have enjoyed the savings I have experienced by being able to do many things for myself rather than needing to hire someone else to do the job. True, some may refer to me as a job hopper. But how many computer geeks can roof their house? What does a car salesman know about investing? Know any Stock Brokers who can change a water heater? Yeah, I did not think so. Yes, Life has been good so far.