I. Different Types of Crows
Crows are large passerine birds that comprise the genus Corvus in the family Corvidae. Here are the more common crows found in North America.
* The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a large passerine bird species of the family Corvidae. It is a common bird found throughout much of North America. In the interior of the continent south of the Arctic, is it simply called a crow, as no other such birds live there on any regular basis.
* The Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) is a typical crow in appearance that is associated with wetland habitats. This bird species is superficially similar to the American crow, but is smaller (36-41 cm in length) and has a more silky smooth plumage by comparison.
The differences are often only really apparent between the two species when they’re side by side or by their calls. The bill is usually somewhat slimmer than the American crow, but again, this may not help much when there is no other bird for comparison.
* The Common Raven (Corvus corax), also known as the Northern Raven, is a large, all-black passerine bird in the crow family.
II. Crows as Pests
Not only do crows feed on recently cast seed in rural areas, but they also gather nightly, starting with groups of a half dozen, which then unite to form a group of twenty to thirty and so on until the flock is quite large and noisy. It is their habit to return to the same place each night.
Machinery of various kinds, such as miniature windmills or horse rattles that are put in motion by the wind are often employed to frighten crows; however, all of these devices soon become familiar to the birds, so they quickly cease to be of any use whatever.
III. Basic Crow Control
* The Scarecrow: The most effectual method of banishing crows from a cornfield, as far as experience goes, is to combine scarecrows with the frequent use of the shotgun. Nothing strikes terror in these sagacious animals more than the sight of a fowling-piece and the explosion of gun powder, which they have known so often to be fatal to their race. But of course, if you want, you can leave the gun behind. The scarecrow is a device, traditionally a human figure dressed in old clothes or a mannequin that is used to discourage crows from disturbing crops (hence the name).
Modern scarecrows seldom take a human shape. On California farmland, highly reflective aluminum PET film ribbons are tied to the plants to create shimmers from the sun. Another approach is automatic noise guns powered with propane gas.
The scarecrow method is a motion-sensing sprinkler and is a great method for getting rid of crows. The crow can’t possibly get hurt, and other critters such as squirrels, raccoons, deer, dogs and cats, are also repelled. It could also be fun to try fireworks, strobe lights, sirens, horns, music or right-wing talk radio.
* Perch Repellents: Crows are difficult birds to get rid of because they are persistent pests and their populations in urban areas are usually quite numerous. If you live in a rural area, crow control is quite simple: scare them or shoot them. If you live in an urban area, the chance of being arrested after shooting a gun outdoors is high.
Your first line of urban defense against crows is the mechanical perch repellent – those sharp wires and needles that you see on the ledges and roofs of many state institutions.
* Bird Repellents: There are a ton of bird repellent chemicals and devices on the market today. You can’t type bird control into a search engine without an entire result page filled with bird control device manufacturers’ home pages.
Nevertheless, one of the most trusted brands in the bird repellent market is Bird-X. Bird-X’s policy is to provide non-lethal, non-harmful, environmentally safe and ecologically sound products, or so they say. Check it out for yourself to confirm these claims. In addition, Bird-X regularly receives referrals from the Audubon Society and the Animal Damage Control division of the USDA. You can’t go wrong with an endorsement from the Audubon Society.