The Birds In Idaho: Annual Crow Invasion Of Nampa In Full (S)wing

Jan 10, 2019

The thousands of crows that descend on Nampa in the winter make the Canyon County community look like the Idaho version of Bodega Bay, the seaside California town that's the setting of "The Birds." A problem presented by the avian hordes: health issues stemming from their droppings.
Credit Talayeh Saghatchian / Flickr

The Treasure Valley community of Nampa is again under siege by the birds. Thousands have descended on the town for the third year in a row.

Despite the bad rap his 1963 film gave to the birds, Alfred Hitchcock waxed poetic about them in a teaser trailer for the movie.

“We have honored our feathered friends in many ways,” the Master of Suspense coos. “We cage birds and show them off proudly in most of our zoos. And the turkey is traditionally our guest of honor at Thanksgiving.”

There are no turkeys and no exotic plumage to be found in Nampa this time of year. Instead, some 8,000 to 10,000 jet-black crows have moved in for the season. While they spend their days in the farm fields around town, at night they descend on the city.

Efforts to battle the birds are underway. The Statesman reports a group of volunteers and city employees come together several nights a week to disperse groups of crows, called murders.

Dubbed “Crow Patrol,” the group uses non-lethal means to deal with the avian intruders. Everything from plastic owls and loud drones to lasers are used to try and scare them off. They’ve even brought in a live falcon to try and intimidate the crows.

Crow Patrol has met some success; the birds appear to be roosting in the outskirts of town instead of the core. Still, despite the use of so many different technologies to displace the birds, residents haven’t seemed to be able to ruffle any feathers.

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