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Terre Haute Crows Adapting To Countermeasures

Terre Haute's mayor says the crows are finding gaps in the city's plan to scare them off.

Crows

Photo: Richard Carter (Flickr)

Fireworks used to scare away crows have proven less effective in the second year of the program.

In its second year of shooting off fireworks to deter crows, Terre Haute’s Crow Committee is seeing the birds adapt to the city changing its strategies for deterrence. Mayor Duke Bennett, speaking on WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor,” says the fireworks were very successful when they were first used in 2010, but new problem spots have sprung up.

“I was like ‘I can’t believe it’s working this well,’ and we moved them out of some key areas of downtown – the hospital,”  Bennett says. “What’s happened this year is we’re keeping them away from those areas pretty decently, but what they seem to be doing is breaking into smaller groups and coming in.”

Bennett says the birds appear to have realized there are not enough volunteers to counter the greater number of small flocks.

“They’re taking over smaller areas that we did not have them in the last year or two. So they’re in new places – some are a problem, some aren’t – and it’s like they find these holes in the system. They’re very intelligent birds.”

The mayor says the city has begun employing low-power lasers to shine beams of light on the crows and annoy them enough to move them from their perches. He says the city will continue using a variety of scare tactics for the immediate future, adding the city is spending about $15,000 a year fighting the birds.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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