Crow Problem Prevention

Here are the methods:

The following suggestions have come in from around the country. Wildlife Watch will be happy to help Middletown choose and apply some of these methods of dissuasion.

· Crows are night-blind. Well lighted areas give them the opportunity to see in the dark and avoid predators. Reduce lighting if possible.

· Thin trees of branches and remove any dead trees.

· Scare eye balloons with reflective tape attached to bottom work in some instances.

· If one is so inclined – not me – bring in a falconer. Fake owls placed on branches might work if moved around periodically,

· Water spray throughout the night will be effective if a timer can be rigged up.

· Audio techniques if neighbors won’t be disturbed

Sent by Barry Kent MacKay – a Canadian naturalist

“Crows roost like this through the winter; their numbers build, and then typically, when town officials feel they have to act, they do so, and the fact that the crows vanish is given as proof that the technique worked. But crows, like many songbirds, establish nesting territories with one pair per territory, starting now (at least in the upper eastern U.S., and here in southern Ontario), with new arrivals from the south perhaps temporarily swelling the ranks of the roost, but you never see crow roosts past April or early May. So if they could be patient a few weeks longer it would save them any costs associated with chasing techniques.

However, since the roost IS about to break up (probably is breaking up, in fact) the various classic techniques should work all the better and faster.

If any decision can be delayed, the birds will soon disperse. Already pairs are forming and seeking nest sites…just a tad early, perhaps, although a few days of warm weather (like today!) will send most of them on their way.”


When a crow contracts West Nile Virus, unlike most other birds, they die and take the virus with them. Think of crows as a place where WNV goes to die – a WVN sink, so to speak – NOT a reservoir. Mosquitoes don’t bite dead crows, and so the infection doesn’t spread. Thus the more crows, the more virus killed off.


Use of crow distress tapes which are available through the Cornell Ornithology Lab: 607-254-2406 or through the Borrow Lab or Bioacoustics 614- 292-2176.

Another newer way is through the use of laser technology –actually, Rick Chipman of USDA Wildlife Services in NY presented a paper on how to repel crow roosts using this method –you can reach him at 518-477- 4837 or

It is more effective to use preventive methods as soon as the crows begin to roost where they are not wanted because they are harder to move once they have become accustomed to a site.

Repellant methods include:

· Broadcasting recordings of crow distress calls Noisemakers like firecrackers or shooting without killing.

· Raising balloons with owl eyes.

· Spraying with water as they fly in for the night.



Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561