View Full Version : Those pesky Crows

John Lindsey
14th July 2002, 17:02
While in Japan in June, my teacher asked my how in Texas we deal with crows getting in our gardens. "We shoot em" is what I said, and Tanemura Sensei laughed and said "We can't do that in Japan".

Scarecrows don't work well either. I have heard that the use of recorded noises might work. Does anyone have any ideas? What are the crow's natural enemies besides man?

John Lindsey
14th July 2002, 17:06
I should add that crows are a federally protected bird here in the US. Under the North American Migratory Bird Act (a treaty between the U.S., Mexico and Canada) you have to have permits to use lethal control on crows.

Jeff Hamacher
15th July 2002, 01:09
the interesting thing, John, is the fact that japanese urbanization has brought the whole problem on itself. there's a television show on sunday evenings which profiles various scientific or medical research projects, and studies into the development of "advanced crow intelligence" were featured several months ago.

it seems that that the particularly nasty, clever crows which inhabit japan's inner cities have actually trained themselves to be far smarter than their country cousins. these city crows organize themselves much more efficiently into flocks or gangs which rove around scavenging garbage and so forth. the program even featured video clips of crows attacking people with shopping bags while their cohorts waited to divvy up the pickings. lab tests showed that the city crows had also beefed up their short- to medium-term memories, and used more advanced forms of "verbal communication" with their friends.

as i said, though, this is all a direct result of japanese cities leaving heaps of unprotected trash around, most notably the food vendors who put out leftovers in the wee hours for the crows to find at daybreak before the garbage trucks can come by. i would venture that any solution, lethal or not, would cost municipal governments too much money to implement. the black dive-bombers will surely continue their reign of terror for the time being.

15th July 2002, 01:54
Dateline Tokyo...

Today in the inner urban sprawl of metropolitan Tokyo, gangs of mutant semi-intelligent crows went on a rampage, swarming yakisoba and takoyaki vendors and stealing their wares...

Police are powerless against such a new and interesting threat, and have vowed to stand by and do absolutely nothing whatsoever, most especially if gaijin are injured by the beasts.

Politicians turned a blind eye to the attacks, and instead focused on embezzeling money and molesting young girls...

Film at eleven...


17th July 2002, 20:51
Originally posted by John Lindsey
I should add that crows are a federally protected bird here in the US. Under the North American Migratory Bird Act (a treaty between the U.S., Mexico and Canada) you have to have permits to use lethal control on crows.

In many states, crows simply have a hunting season like any game animal, and all that is required is a small game license. I made quite a few dollars from farmers in my youth shooting crows that were pillaging their crops. I have heard that in Mexico the crow is a sort of a pseudo-sacred bird, so this may account for some kind of agreement between Southwestern states and them, I'm not sure..

I know how to bring them in through calls and decoys (and even using the dead crows themselves), but outside of shooting them or using a scarecrow, no way to get rid of them. Unless you want to get a little unethical ;)

Their natural enemies are other crows, owls, and snakes; however decoys of these will bring them in to fight, not frighten them off. They're a pretty belligerent lot. If you could sneak up to Miyajima and capture one of those crap-flinging monkeys and tether it in a garden, that may work though.

17th July 2002, 21:54
Since it might be illegal for Tanemura sensei to actually shoot crows in his neck of the woods and since crows have such a good memory, fireworks might be a possible solution. A loud firecracker would have the same effect as if a shotgun were fired into the air.
I don't know how illegal fireworks are outside of tokyo, though.

17th July 2002, 21:56
I might add that if fireworks aren't a viable solution something a little more high tech but with the same effect might work.
A recorded noise of a gun or loud pop activated by a motion sensor.
Radio Shack might provide all the neccesary equipment for under $20.00 US.

17th July 2002, 22:20
You might find useful information on the following URL:

...The City in cooperation with other organizations and residents will continue to try to move the birds by use of sound repellants in an attempt to “herd” the flocks to more out of the way locations.

17th July 2002, 22:24
From the household cyclopedia of general information published in 1881

Machinery of various kinds, such as wind-mills in miniature, horse rattles, etc., to be put in motion by the wind, are often employed to frighten crows; but with all of these they soon become familiar, when they cease to be of any use whatever.

The most effectual method of banishing them from a field,, as far as experience goes, is to combine with one or other of the scarecrows in vogue the frequent use of the musket. Nothing strikes such terror into these sagacious animals as the sight of a fowling-piece and the explosion of gun powder, which they have known so often to be fatal to their race. Such is their dread of a fowling-piece, that if one is placed upon a dyke or other eminence, it will for a long time prevent them from alighting on the adjacent grounds. Many persons now, however, believe that crows like most other birds, do more good by destroying insects and worms, etc., than harm by eating grain.

18th July 2002, 10:16
Gosh Greg, you're a regular crowologist!

18th July 2002, 15:56
I have always been fascinated by crows/blackbirds/ravens.
My Fiancee makes fun of me for "bird watching" when out in public.
If you pay close attention you will realize that those critters are much smarter than people give them credit for (possibly more so than a parrot) It's interesting to watch the little dramas unfold when a group of them get together. (hey! maybe it's like e-budo!)
In Texas the blackbirds won't get any closer than ten or fifteen feet from you but when I was in Orlando a few years ago I had them eating out of my hands. I guess living with generations of tourists (Orlando is land of the Theme parks) has caused the birds to develop a symbiotic relationship with man. Definately animals that learn, adapt, and overcome.

Larry Hairgrove
19th July 2002, 18:14
I know that when I was in the US ARMY at Ft. Irwin Ca. They used to have a whole mess of them black, as we called them "Dumpster Chickens"

David T Anderson
28th July 2002, 19:17
Hmmmm...a city pal of mine had a problem with some magpies [smaller than crows but related]. They were incredibly noisy and would create a terrible racket from daybreak to sunset [and since the sun rises around 5AM here in the summer, it was a darn early wakeup call].

Anyhow, my pal noticed that the magpies would often come down and sample the food [kibble] he put out for his dogs. He started to actually feed the magpies for a couple of weeks. After the birds were acclimatized to getting food there regularly, one day he spiked the food with some vodka...and ended up with some helplessly drunk magpies staggering around his back stoop. A burlap sack and a 5 gal. water bucket in the garage was the ultimate 'solution'.

Dunno if this would work with crows, or if it would work repeatedly [crows catch on to things fast, which is why scarecrows and other harmless tricks seldom work for long] but some variation on the theme might be worth a try....

28th July 2002, 20:50
Crows are very intelligent birds, and quickly adapt to new things. If you are using scare-crows etc you must keep changing things so the crows don't adapt to it.
I might add that in many parts of Canada they are not a protected species. You can hunt them at whim as long as you have a small game license. They are also not a migratory game bird here, we have em all year long.
Two years ago in Southern Ont. there was actually a contest in a small community to see who could bag the most crows in a day. The town was being over run by crows. Aside from the animal rights groups no one cared that crows were being shot wholesale, as long as it was being done safely.

7th August 2002, 04:08
For those interested in the behavior of ravens and crows, check out "Ravens in Winter" Vintage Books; ISBN: 0679732365; Reprint edition (October 1991) Very interesting reading.

I always say crows are the feather jacketed punks of the animal kingdom. They often find a sleeping owl and suddenly there will be a dozen or more crows tormenting the owl. If they can get the owl to take flight they will dive bomb it and pursue it mercilessly. I've seen similar behavior directed at a red tailed hawk.

So when I see small birds dive bombing a crow it makes me chuckle. Karma, neh ?

Maybe getting rid of the crows could be accomplished by getting a smaller bird to nest nearby, and they will chase the crows off ? Just a theory... not sure which smaller bird would be up to the task.

9th August 2002, 12:09

9th August 2002, 14:19
You beat me to it!
Here's a different link anyhow..

12th August 2002, 12:48

Sean T. Fourkiller
15th August 2002, 19:03
Is it legal to bring Falcons into Japan? If Mr. Tanemura doesn't have the time to take up falconry himself, he might want to check out these guys: