CNHI News Service

News

December 31, 2012

Fake fowl solve city's crow infestation

PERU, Ind. — Hundreds of crows have harassed this small city in northern Indiana for the past two years, with daily infestations that leave a building, sidewalk and patch of city property covered in droppings. Finally, the city's mayor says he may have a solution: Hanging four fake crows upside down from nearby trees.

“I thought this was either going to be folly or this would be fantastic,” said Mayor Jim Walker, who found the idea online while researching ways to keep away the crows with Brenda Douglass, his administrative assistant.

The 5:30 p.m. appearance of the crows on land next to the old firehouse on Main Street has become more than a spooky ritual here. The infestation is killing pine trees on the property.

A mother has stopped letting her child play outside, said Walker, and congregants at the First Christian Church are worried about being pelted by falling feces.

The church, which bought the old firehouse from the city in 2004, installed a "squawk box" last year to simulate the calls of predatory birds in hopes of shooing away the pests. No luck.

After Walker and Douglass read about dangling decoys online, the city bought four artificial crows for $60 from an online Halloween store. City workers strung them in the trees Dec. 17.

That evening, Walker sat across from the church and watched as a cloud of crows descended.

The birds circled the trees and made a few tentative landings, he said. Then they flew away.

As of late last week, they had not returned.

Walker said he's cautiously optimistic.

"Am I guaranteeing this will work forever? No way," he said. "But it's doing the trick for now, and we haven't seen crows in 10 days."

---

Details for this story were reported by the Kokomo, Ind., Tribune.

1
Text Only
News
  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014

  • Robin_Williams.jpg Williams among many who cracked jokes while fighting depression

    Robin Williams isn't the only comedian who has struggled with a disease suffered by an estimated 350 million people worldwide. Williams, a comedian known for his manic energy, committed suicide Aug. 11 at age 63.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • unrest.jpg Why the Ferguson police-shooting riots had little to do with Ferguson

    Riots and vandalism broke out in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. An 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown was fatally shot by police there. Brown was unarmed. It's still unclear why tensions boiled over.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • congressionaldemographics.jpg Most Republican House districts are majority-white

    Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • job-fair.jpg Job market tilting toward workers

    The balance of power in the job market is shifting slowly toward employees from employers.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

Sports

Features

Opinion