As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 21 September 2018

Crows using roof top to crack open walnuts is driving dog crazy

The homeowner is none too happy either. What can be done to discourage the crows and their pounding?

Large flocks of crows can cause issues for humans ranging from excessive noise, harassment and raiding of gardens, orchards and field crops.
By JOAN MORRIS | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: September 17, 2018 at 7:00 am | UPDATED: September 17, 2018 at 7:05 am
DEAR JOAN: I think it’s called a murder of crows, but maybe I just want to murder the crows.
Every year we get 40 or 50 crows eating breakfast on our roof and it drives Chrissie, our normally non-vocal bichon frise, crazy. The crows bring large, nut type husks the size of walnuts and use our roof as an anvil to break them open.
The pounding on the roof by so many crows sounds like we have a family of raccoons up there, and as you can expect, the crows don’t seem to get along with each other as they caw and chase each other nonstop, dropping the husks that then roll across the roof and accumulate in the rain gutters.
Poor Chrissie isn’t very happy with the knocking and pounding on the roof and neither am I as I don’t know what kind of damage they might be doing up there. It I step outside and rap on the rain gutter with a long cardboard tube, the crows take flight and the sky turns black for a few moments as they scatter, only to return 10 minutes later.
I’m guessing that the parents are teaching their youngsters how to hunt for food but do you have any ideas how I might discourage the crows from turning my roof into a Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast venue?
Art Mayoff, Benicia
DEAR ART: Keeping certain birds out of your yard is not an easy task, unless maybe you build a glass dome over your house, and then I think the crows might create another problem for you that would require constant window washing.
There are devices you can attach to the eaves and ridge lines of your house, common roosting spots for birds, that are intended to keep them off. The bird spikes are just what the name implies — spikes that would make perching very uncomfortable. However, as the crows are doing more than roosting, they could continue to use your roof as a giant nutcracker.
You could hang Mylar ribbons and sparkly disks above your roof, but crows soon figure out those are nothing to worry about.
How about creating a place in your yard for the crows to use? You could build a platform, install large rocks or other hard surfaces to substitute for your roof. Place some bird seed and walnuts out to attract them to the spot. As crows seem to do exactly what we don’t want them to do, be sure to tell them they need to stay off.

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