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FOR THE BIRDS - City plans to attack 60,000 to 80,000 'murder of crows'
Springfield News-Sun ^ | December 28, 2003 | Samntha Sommers

Posted on 12/28/2003 11:46:43 AM PST by UnklGene

FOR THE BIRDS: City plans an attack on a mob of crows that may number 60,000 to 80,000 -

By SAMANTHA SOMMER, News-Sun Staff Writer

At times, when Jodi Forshey passes by the new Lagonda Elementary School, she wonders whether she's in a Hitchcock movie.

It's not lovebirds that catch her eye. It's the crowds of creepy crows that have descended on Springfield this fall and winter.

"They don't bother me too much," said the Cecil Street resident who has seen hundreds of the crows perched on the school roof. “But they remind me of that movie ‘The Birds.’ ”

Springfield might have more crows residing here than people. Assistant City Manager Jim Bodenmiller estimates 60,000 to 80,000 of the birds have set up winter camp in town.

That seems to be up from past winters, Bodenmiller said, probably because the birds had a good mating season and are passing the word along that Springfield is a hot spot for the night.

"They come from all over the county and other counties, sometimes from 15 to 20 miles out," he said. "They're really intelligent and communicate with each other. They've probably determined that Springfield is a nice place."

Bodenmiller receives five to 10 calls a week from residents complaining about the birds.

So the city is teaming up with wildlife biologists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to exterminate possibly up to a third of the crow population.

To frighten away the crows, the city has used pyrotechnics similar to louder bottle rockets and firecrackers, as well as recorded crow distress calls played over a speaker system.

That moves the birds around so they don't stay in one place.

But the birds are a nuisance and a possible health threat, Bodenmiller said.

Whatever they roost on becomes coated with droppings, which stink. The droppings also can transmit the fungal disease histoplasmosis and crows are carriers of the West Nile virus.

"Because of the numbers we are dealing with, this is definitely a public nuisance," Bodenmiller said. "It's no fun at all to clean off sidewalk, yards, cars and rooftops day after day. There can also be health-related issues."

The extermination program should start in mid- to late-January, cost less than $5,000 and be spread over a couple of months.

The city wanted to start the program last year but had to wait for an environmental study to ensure killing the birds wouldn't harm the ecosystem.

The crows likely will be fed corn laced with poison, killing them in 12 to 36 hours.

The entire time the baiting stations are out, they will be monitored by a person, likely a USDA employee, to keep away other animals and people.

The poison won't affect animals that eat the dead birds.

City crews will pick up any dead crows they find in Springfield. If residents see them in their yards, it is safe to pick birds up with a bag or gloves and throw the carcasses in the trash, Bodenmiller said. They should then wash their hands.

The birds feed in the country before heading into the city to roost for the night. So Bodenmiller wants people who see their feeding spots to call or e-mail him with the locations. He can be reached at 324-7300 or jbodenmiller@ci.springfield.oh.us.

Residents also can help by not littering and covering trash.

"They really are drawn to litter — french fries and bread, anything left lying around," Bodenmiller said. "They are opportunistic and attracted to trash."

People also can rouse the roosting crows in their yards by banging on pots before the birds turn in for the night.

Charlotte Evans considers crows a nuisance. Lagonda Park sits down the hill from her and most of the time the crows stay there.

Often though, she has to deal with droppings blanketing her Cedarview Avenue back yard and she frequently hears loud squawking.

"Sometimes there are so many of them I'm afraid to put my dog out back," Evans said. "I don't know what they might do."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: animalrights; crows; environment; pests

1 posted on 12/28/2003 11:46:44 AM PST by UnklGene
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To: UnklGene
.22 ammo is cheap, shooting birds is fun.
2 posted on 12/28/2003 11:49:13 AM PST by Abcdefg
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To: UnklGene; AAABEST; Ace2U; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; amom; AndreaZingg; Anonymous2; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

3 posted on 12/28/2003 11:51:40 AM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: farmfriend
BTTT!!!!!
5 posted on 12/28/2003 11:57:35 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: UnklGene
When I grew up in Georgia I had a 222 Remington that was customed built for me. You could consistantly drive thumbtacks at 100 yard with it and hit a crow sized target up to about 350 yards. In Lincoln County, we had crows that had the highest average IQ of any crows anywhere in the United States. The reason for that is I killed everyone of the dumb ones.
6 posted on 12/28/2003 11:57:53 AM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: UnklGene

7 posted on 12/28/2003 11:59:28 AM PST by MadelineZapeezda
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To: MadelineZapeezda
Yikes, better get the .222 out again!!!!!
8 posted on 12/28/2003 12:01:54 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: Cathryn Crawford
Don't you eat these 'critters' in Texas?
9 posted on 12/28/2003 12:08:29 PM PST by UnklGene
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To: Abcdefg
Are you serious?
Sure 22 ammo is cheap - and has a range of over 1 mile, so even if you miss the bird you are shooting at, there's still a pretty good chance you'll still kill someone or something before the bullet lands.
Of course, you could use a shotgun which would kill many more of the crows you are shooting at and would not pose a danger for those downrange, but those shotgun shells are much more expensive than those 22's.
10 posted on 12/28/2003 12:13:27 PM PST by Hoof Hearted
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To: UnklGene
"They come from all over the county and other counties, sometimes from 15 to 20 miles out," he said. "They're really intelligent and communicate with each other. They've probably determined that Springfield is a nice place."

"They really are drawn to litter — french fries and bread, anything left lying around," Bodenmiller said. "They are opportunistic and attracted to trash."

"Sometimes there are so many of them I'm afraid to put my dog out back," Evans said. "I don't know what they might do."

Springfield? Sounds like San Francisco to me.

11 posted on 12/28/2003 12:16:47 PM PST by Uncle Sausage
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To: Uncle Sausage

12 posted on 12/28/2003 12:18:50 PM PST by recalcitrant
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To: UnklGene
I run from these critters in Texas!
13 posted on 12/28/2003 12:19:14 PM PST by Cathryn Crawford (¿Podemos ahora sonreír?)
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To: Uncle Sausage
They kind of sound like Democrats don't they?? That is with the exception of the intelligent part.
14 posted on 12/28/2003 12:20:11 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: Hoof Hearted
How about .22 short sub-sonic? Also cheap and fun.
15 posted on 12/28/2003 12:25:38 PM PST by Abcdefg
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To: Abcdefg
That subsonic powder stinks. (smells bad)
16 posted on 12/28/2003 12:34:56 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Hoof Hearted
When I first started hunting, circa 1970, we'd go out before the real season and "practice" on crows, and corn farmers in CT would pay $.50 a piece...Lottsa fun and payed for most of the ammo...(12 and 20 gauge in Browning autos)

FMCDH

17 posted on 12/28/2003 12:42:06 PM PST by nothingnew (The pendulum is swinging and the Rats are in the pit!)
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To: UnklGene

18 posted on 12/28/2003 12:42:16 PM PST by concentric circles
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To: Abcdefg
22 subsonic is fine(and fun) but a good air rifle will give you more muzzle velocity.
19 posted on 12/28/2003 12:51:17 PM PST by Hoof Hearted
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To: Hoof Hearted
Are you sure an air rifle will kill a crow? The .22 bullet is heavier and has more knockdown power, I would think.
20 posted on 12/28/2003 1:03:27 PM PST by Abcdefg
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To: UnklGene
Put up a Tippi Hedren scare crow and wa la... bird catcher extrodinaire; bird problem-o gone.

Trajan88

21 posted on 12/28/2003 1:05:12 PM PST by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: UnklGene
Sounds like my front yard, yesterday. It was unbelievable, except these are ravens, I think. Some of the bigger ones would make a decent meal for 4 people.
22 posted on 12/28/2003 1:18:53 PM PST by TheSpottedOwl (Happy Iraqi Independence Day!!!!)
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To: Hoof Hearted
"so even if you miss the bird you are shooting at, there's still a pretty good chance you'll still kill someone or something before the bullet lands."

Hunters do not use rifles to shoot flying birds just because of your worries. Safe shooting includes knowing what the backstand of your target is.

23 posted on 12/28/2003 1:46:03 PM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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To: B4Ranch
They need to get a few Walther and Feinwerbau 177 cal air rifles and some determined neighborhood kids and get to work.
Put them in the second floor windows of homes and buildings and tell them to fire at will.

Pretty soon they will have to have endloaders to pick up all the dead flying rats.
24 posted on 12/28/2003 2:28:36 PM PST by Armedanddangerous (The first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun...more than one, if possible..)
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To: Armedanddangerous
It will come to something like that eventually.
25 posted on 12/28/2003 3:14:24 PM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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To: Abcdefg
.22 ammo is cheap, shooting birds is fun.

I've heard that crows have a tough hide and a .22 won't do the job unless at close range. Sound true?

26 posted on 12/28/2003 3:17:16 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.)
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To: UnklGene
Good movie!


27 posted on 12/28/2003 3:23:16 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.)
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To: Abcdefg
Are you sure an air rifle will kill a crow?

A few years ago, PBS or National Geographic aired an experiment in England using air rifles (pellet guns) to thin 'murders of crows'. No matter how many they killed, approximately the same original number would return the following year. The air rifles worked fine. One shot, one dead crow.

28 posted on 12/28/2003 3:45:00 PM PST by UnklGene
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To: Abcdefg
Hahaha........I was just thinking the same thing! Nothing like cracking off a .22 Mag round at those beady-eyed, disease-carrying, garden-raiding scavengers, sitting on a tree limb with their damned tongues hanging out of their beaks. CAW! CAW! CAW! *CRACK* *THUMP* Hahahahahaha But I'd want to use a decent 12 gauge if I was going for sheer numbers.

Ah, I'm in a pleasant mood now. :-)
29 posted on 12/28/2003 3:52:53 PM PST by Viking2002
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To: UnklGene
Set a $1 bounty per crow and let the citizens take care of the problem.
30 posted on 12/28/2003 3:56:15 PM PST by HP8753 (My cat doesn't see the humor in static electricity.... I ,on the other hand, find it funny!!)
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To: MadelineZapeezda; Trajan88
I was out where The Birds was filmed last summer, and there was Tippi!

Signing pictures and making a couple of bucks.

We had her sign our dashboard...

And just to prove it, here she Is:

Also we had a job once and part of it was plinking the Crows that invaded the dumpster...and carrying a pretty powerful rifle when working on the watersystem up the hill cause the bears were biting the plastic pipe...LOL

31 posted on 12/28/2003 4:50:32 PM PST by Dr. Zoo and Syncro
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