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A murder of crows

This morning, I was awakened by the cacophany of approximately 12.7 gazillion crows in the trees around my home.

Anyone got a shotgun I can borrow?

Comments (30)

Stupid crows and the racket... (Below threshold)
mark m:

Stupid crows and the racket they make are in my top ten of most annoying things. The problem...the stupid things are tough to get a good shot at. They see anything move and they get out of dodge (ever see a crow get hit by a car??...very rare). Depending on how close they are you may have luck with a pellet gun. Open a window in your house and fire away (assuming it's safe to shoot where you are). It's actually stress relieving and fun.

Are you sure they aren't Eu... (Below threshold)

Are you sure they aren't European Starlings. These birds are known to flock in dense groups and squack incessantly.

In my location, crows do not form large groups. Very small flocks.


Paging Mr Hitchcock.. Mr Al... (Below threshold)

Paging Mr Hitchcock.. Mr Alfred Hitchcock

How about one of Saddam's R... (Below threshold)

How about one of Saddam's Republican Guard unused AAA guns? ...:)

You have crows? I thought ... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

You have crows? I thought they all had migrated down here in southwest Florida.

While crows are among the most obnoxious birds, they are not dumb. And they talk to each other. Here is a solution suggested to me by a Florida friend whose pool and spa were being used as combination birdbath and toilet bowl by groups of crows. His solution was not a shotgun, too many neighbors and he lived on a golf course. It was a silent, well sighted in and powerful BB pistol.

He said it was amazing. After several non-fatal and one fatal hit, the number of crows diminished and they were much more skittish. After several more encounters, they ceased to use his pool. The same number of crows still flew over his house and even stole packaged chips from the nearby golf carts as the golfers putted out. But they stayed away from his area. Occaisionally they would need a refresher course, which he was glad to give them.

Maybe this approach would help.

Alas, untill you actually s... (Below threshold)

Alas, untill you actually see a large group of crows together like this, you are at a loss to explain why a mass of crows is called a "murder".

A "murder" of crows is a great descriptive word that you now fully understand.

Sadly, many people have no experience with a "murder" of crows. It truly is an amazing thing.

In Wisconsin, we have a season on them, and they do migrate, but only in a huge circle. They do not usually migrate south per se, but actually just make huge migrations relatively close to their "summer" range if not directly in their summer range.

Try a paintball gun. Impac... (Below threshold)

Try a paintball gun. Impact hurts, however it is non-lethal (probably), and you can at least give the birds a nice colorful makeover if you can't drive them away. A semi-auto might be best.

You don't own a gun!!??... (Below threshold)
Dan Patterson:

You don't own a gun!!??

I've got several. Any prefe... (Below threshold)

I've got several. Any preferences as to what type? Just make sure you don't hit Hugin & Mugin. The All-Father would be pissed...

The modern solution - don't... (Below threshold)

The modern solution - don't shoot the crows, innoculate them against the Bird Flu.

Ya'll need to be careful. C... (Below threshold)

Ya'll need to be careful. Crows are protected under the federal "Migratory Bird Act" and it is basically illegal to interact with them. I learned this on some goofy website now lost to my memory, after I started looking around for information on how to tame crows. I had a great uncle in the Ozarks who tamed crows, it's a Scotch-Irish thing I think, and these crows would come and pearch on his shoulder when called. He also taught them some words, the usual thing you would expect from a Hillbilly. Well, apparently, it's against the law now to tame crows.

Crow season has passed (Aug... (Below threshold)

Crow season has passed (Aug. 15 - Nov. 30, 2005) but opens again March 16-31, 2006. There is no daily bag limit. Obviously you will need a license. Unless you're looking for some quality time with the gangsta's, I would not recommend touching off any firearms if you're within the City limits.
Also, you have to eat what you kill.

J:You'll love this... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


You'll love this then: Here in the Seattle it is illegal to kill crows.

As you can guess, we have a huge, huge crow problem.

I can sympathize!

Chris"Ya'll need to ... (Below threshold)
mark m:

"Ya'll need to be careful. Crows are protected under the federal "Migratory Bird Act" and it is basically illegal to interact with them"

Not so here in Michigan and many other states.

Happy shooting....damn crows.

ever see a crow get hit ... (Below threshold)

ever see a crow get hit by a car??...very rare

I actually have -- but the fact I remember it so clearly is due no doubt to its rarity.

I also once saw a pigeon get hit by a car on the freeway -- I suspect someone with a BB gun had shot it off a billboard sign -- anyway, upon impact there was a cloud of bluish-gray feathers that covered most of the southbound lane.

Long time ago, I was young -- but I still think it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. [bleep]ing rats with wings.

And no, I wasn't the one wi... (Below threshold)

And no, I wasn't the one with the BB gun. I was on the freeway driving about ten car lengths behind the car that hit the pigeon.

Firecrackers usually work, ... (Below threshold)

Firecrackers usually work, but be sure you are ready to run fast and/or wear a wide-brimmed hat.

> ever see a crow get hit b... (Below threshold)

> ever see a crow get hit by a car??...very rare

Yes, up close and personal, outta season and I didn't eat it. Left a nice spot on my windsheild! It was even on the way to church one Sunday morning, so it must be OK.

J. You could hang pie tins in the trees. Just use latex gloves so PETA can't pin it on you.

I had this problem until I ... (Below threshold)

I had this problem until I played the sound of various carnivorous birds and rival crow species at a very high level as I placed the speakers in my open window and aimed them at the tree with the crows.

They took off and were gone all summer after waking me up every day for months.

I just searched around on the internet for bird calls.

Go out and buy 3 or 4 of th... (Below threshold)

Go out and buy 3 or 4 of the biggest and most realistic rubber snakes you can find and throw them up in the tree. That's how I keep the birds off of my satellite dishes and solar panels. Works like a charm.

Same solution I use for red... (Below threshold)

Same solution I use for red squirrels raiding my birdfeeders -- high-power pellet gun. After a few whacks in the backside with that, now they run when they hear my porch door open.

Jay, you live in NH and don't own a shotgun?? Tsk.

Anyway, anyone ever ... (Below threshold)

Anyway, anyone ever tried to shoot a crow that was within range of a Daisy BB gun?

It would go like this.

Crow lands in a tree in the backyard, 40 yards away.
I notice it through the upstairs blinds.
I open the blinds
I crack the window
I pump the BB gun to ten, in front of the window

The crow just sits there.

The barral of the gun start to move toward the window, and the crow takes off. Over and over.

I could be in the backyard, see a crow, jump up and down and yell at the thing, start walking towards it, whatever, just sat their.

Bend down to pick up a rock - it takes off.

Smart birds.

Seeing as though there wasn't much else I felt comfortable trying to kill, it was very frustrating.

bullwinkle"Go out ... (Below threshold)
mark m:


"Go out and buy 3 or 4 of the biggest and most realistic rubber snakes you can find and throw them up in the tree. That's how I keep the birds off of my satellite dishes and solar panels. Works like a charm."

So do you call NORAD home???

" Bang a couple of pans tog... (Below threshold)

" Bang a couple of pans together and then go back to bed.

mark m, No, I call M... (Below threshold)

mark m,
No, I call Mexico home. I live 40 miles from the nearest utilities so I have all kinds of off-grid things to make life worthwhile.

I used to have this very pr... (Below threshold)

I used to have this very problem when I returned to California from elsewhere, and -- please don't laugh but this is what worked for me -- I started waking with the noisy crows and going outside and confronting them.

Every.single.time one of them caaawwed from one tree to another, I'd yell, "HEY!" and clap my hands. The crow would first ignore me, then caaawww again, and again I'd yell, "HEY!" and clap my hands.

After two, maybe three of those yells and clapping, the crows would fly to another tree, but farther away. Then they'd caaaaww, I'd yell and clap, they'd fly off.

It really made a differene after I did that two, three mornings in a row. The noisiest of the crows very soon got the point or at least got it that I was annoying and to caaaawww near that particular location wasn't a good experience for the crows, so they took to flocking elsewhere.

They're very, very intelligent birds and the caaaawwwing cacophany is usually the young birds complaining to their parents when the parents stop feeding them (the young ones, who are generally the ones making all that noise and it's because they're complaining to their parents to not discontinue providing their food for them).

I'm serious in that my yelling and clapping worked. Next year, only a very few of them did this and every single time I heard it, I'd go outside and do the same thing and they'd stop after only my first interruption.

And the third year, not a peep. At least not near my place.

It really works, just go outscreech them, so to speak, because the "HEY!" with the hand clapping is basically teaching the young crows to knock it off, or, bluntly, to "shut uuuup." They are quick learners.

You can't just make noise w... (Below threshold)

You can't just make noise when the crows do, you have to get the crows' attention, the ones making the noise, and jump start them. You have to make some intrusive, threatening noise just when they caaawww, and then stare at them. They'll notice you even before you make any noise but will particularly pay attention to you once you make a repetitive noise in relationship to their noise.

It's the negative consequence that they'll quickly notice and then they'll either relocate and make noise somewhere else or they'll learn to knock off the obnoxious noise.

I've seen a few very vocal crows this past year who pursue their, obviously, parent and continue to harass the parent -- who continues to flee -- with the loud caaawing, but, they haven't congregated near or around my place ever since I did that repetitive, HEY! and loud hand clapping thing over a period of only two, three days while making sure the crows saw me doing it. You just have to teach them to associate a bad consequence with their caaawing and they'll soon knock it off, or else go elsewhere. IF they've already established food sources where they are, they won't leave but they will stop making so much noise once you teach them that to yell persistently is to be reprimanded with an obnoxious sound and presence.

It worked for me and it only took two, three, maybe four mornings to do that, a few minutes each.

I had a murder of crows aro... (Below threshold)

I had a murder of crows around my rural house near evergreen state college. The were making quite an obnoxious racket.

I solved the problem by lofting firecrackers taped to rocks into their midst.

I bought two packs of crackers. The crows departed at the first one and never came back.

The crows are a smart bird. I point my arm at them and they fly away.

watch this video of the crow solving problem by bending a wire----amazing


Rubber snakes and fake owls... (Below threshold)

Rubber snakes and fake owls only work to keep the crows OFF certain restricted areas but it won't stop the (mostly) younger ones from making their obnoxious caaawwwing. You have to just teach them to be quiet and what I did worked very effectively, although I did feel a tad self conscious doing it.

Give it a try, Jay Tea and make sure the crows see you doing it and where. Go right outside (back door, front, wherever you can that's associated with your residence) and stare at them, then wait till one or more goes, "caaawwww" and YOU yell, "HEY!" and loudly make a hand clap.

Then go silent again, stand there, wait till they "caawww," and do it again. Do it again and again unti you get their attention (usually only a few times) and they'll either fly off and caaaww just a bit away, in which case continue to do that, but stand in the same place by your residence.

They'll then just leave. Next morning, when they're again outside with the racket, go and do exactly the same thing. And do that again for a total duration of about four mornings and they'll soon just avoid your place, at least for the location for their morning complaint sessions to their parents.

I hope all you crow haters ... (Below threshold)

I hope all you crow haters get diarrhea. I have a couple of wild crows I feed every morning. They are so cute and adorable. Now hush and make peace with these beautiful creatures.






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