Local

What’s one solution to control crows in Downtown Nampa? Allow police to shoot them.

A dead crow hangs from a tree in the parking lot of Walmart in Caldwell, Idaho. Since 2005, the Caldwell police have attempted to push marauding flocks of crows outside of the city limits. Starting in downtown, they've made it as far as Walmart - but they apparently haven't filled everyone in on their plan. A concerned citizen contacted Fish and Game and the Statesman this week after coming across crows that had been shot with a shotgun in the middle of the night. Friday January 31, 2014
A dead crow hangs from a tree in the parking lot of Walmart in Caldwell, Idaho. Since 2005, the Caldwell police have attempted to push marauding flocks of crows outside of the city limits. Starting in downtown, they've made it as far as Walmart - but they apparently haven't filled everyone in on their plan. A concerned citizen contacted Fish and Game and the Statesman this week after coming across crows that had been shot with a shotgun in the middle of the night. Friday January 31, 2014 kgreen@idahostatesman.com

After years of fighting the masses of crows that gather in Downtown Nampa, the city’s latest effort to stop the birds is to allow Nampa police officers to shoot them with pellet guns.

The city of Nampa reported Friday that it has received several complaints about the birds. Research so far shows that a multi-pronged approach is necessary to disrupt the crows’ roosting habits, according to the city.

Nampa police officers have been authorized to shoot crows Downtown through Sunday night. The effort by police started Thursday night. Dead crows on top of buildings are known as one deterrent, but the city reported it is not the only solution.

Discharging a firearm within the city limits is prohibited, unless the mayor gives permission, which he did in this case for Nampa police.

“It’s a dilemma,” Nampa Mayor Bob Henry said in a news release. “At what point should taxpayer dollars be used to fight the crows? By doing nothing, the crow murders in the city, particularly in the Downtown area, create a daily mess and can potentially cause health hazards.”

Although crows forage for food in nearby fields during the colder months, they congregate in town where it’s warmer, in part because of the street lights, according to the city.

“In the case of Caldwell, it took 15 years of trying different options,” Henry said in the news release. “It’s going to require a concerted effort on the part of all the stakeholders to let the crows know they are not wanted in Downtown Nampa. Those long-term decisions will depend on decisions that Mayor-Elect Debbie Kling and the City Council will make after the first of the year.”

Meanwhile, in addition to shooting crows, Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas has agreed to let the city of Nampa borrow, for testing purposes, the hazers that Caldwell used in its battle against crows in the Walmart parking area a few years ago.

“I appreciate the fact that Caldwell volunteered the trial use of the bird repellent hazer when Nampa city staff called to ask questions about Caldwell’s experience with the crows,” Henry said.

Nampa is exploring that option now and must still order the repellent.

Caldwell used a patented hazer device that emits methyl anthranilate at precise levels. Methyl anthranilate is another word for a food flavoring found in grapes. The product is carried in a soybean oil base and made from the skin of a concord grape. According to the company’s website, methyl anthranilate will not make people or animals sick. More information about the company’s product can be found at www.flockfree.com.

Downtown Nampa businesses created some disruptive noises Thursday night between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. and that seemed to help a bit, Downtown Coordinator Morgan Treasure said Friday in a news release.

  Comments