They dare anger the crows

crow closeupFrom an Albany College of Pharmacy email that made its way to us this week:

The College is working with the US Department of Agriculture to address the volume of crows on campus and some of the issues that go along with their presence. Over the next week to ten days the USDA will be on campus, typically in the evening hours, and they will use techniques that include fireworks and "starter pistols."
We apologize for any disruptions and also want to inform you of this so that you are not startled or threatened by the noises.

Communities all over the Capital Region have joined the War on Crows each winter for the last few years. Among the tactics: the aforementioned fireworks and pistols, recorded crow distress calls and... lasers. And yet victory has remained elusive.

The crow is a formidable adversary. Researchers say the birds can use tools, recognize humans and hold grudges (even if you can't figure out what you did to them). The mayor of Amsterdam recently revealed the crows had cracked the city's waste disposal codes. It's only a matter of time before they learn how to use Twitter and Facebook.

The one ray of hope in this conflict: Ellen McNulty-Ryan, the mayor of Green Island, who told the Troy Record last year that her city hasn't had a roost in eight years, thanks to her skill with a pyrotechnic pistol. She may be the last bulwark against the inevitable crow uprising.

Earlier on AOA: A dossier on our crow invaders

photo: Wikimedia Commons user mdf


I like the crows. There's something deliciously creepy about seeing a bunch of them roosting in the trees at twilight, making a whole load of racket.

And doesn't this seem like a big waste of money to anyone else? They roost in Troy, Troy spends money to scare them away, they go to Albany. Albany spends money to scare them away, they go to Colonie. They're just going to keep moving around. Why not leave them alone?

curse the Daily Gazette's paywall. I really want to know more about the crows and Amsterdam. :(

Curses- the link to the pyrotechnic pistol article on Ellen McNulty-Ryan is broken! Fix it, Fix it, Fix!


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