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The Crows Are Back

CrowOffice of the Physical Plant workers are preparing for battle for the third year in a row. The enemy?

Crows – hailing from Canada and New England.

OPP has tried a lot of pretty interesting tactics to scare the crows away from the grounds of Penn State and State College. Here’s a rundown of what’s been tried.

  • Spraying cotton-candy-scented fog over the Allen Street bus stop in 2007.
  • Launching firecrackers between Whitmore and Pond Labs in 2008.
  • Hanging dead crow look-alikes on trees in North Campus near the Architecture Building in 2008.

Despite attempts to scare the crows away, the population of crows in State College doubled between 2007 and 2008.

This year, OPP is hoping to use bright lamps, like the ones that are used on tailgating fields during games, to draw crows to trees near the waste treatment plant close to University Terrace. An alternate area to which to relocate the crows is a clump of trees near the visitor’s center located close to the Stadium. In combination with the bright lamps, firecrackers are set to be used to disturb the flocks of crows.

Other tactics being considered are pretty interesting:

  • Letting licensed hunters release hawks and falcons on the unsuspecting and lazy crow flocks.
  • Using radio tags to track the birds. Some tagging was done last year and the crows were found to be at the Arboretum and Park Avenue.

Phillip Melnick, director of buildings and grounds for Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant, has this to say about changing tactics on the crows:

“You don’t know where they’re going to go when you harass them,” he added. “We have our work cut out for us. … We’ll adjust on the fly, so to speak.”

If the crow problem persists, keep in mind a valuable piece of advice that I learned in scouts a long time ago:

Don’t look up at a bird/flock of birds with your mouth open. One of them could land something quite foul into your mouth.


About the Author

Steve S.

Steve Sharer is a Security and Risk Analysis major and an overall good guy. He brings Onward State readers enticing posts such as "Question of the Day" and "Campus Explorer" and will continue to do so until he becomes the President of the United States of America in 2024.


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