< Back to Blog

St. Louis University using owl decoy

The crows arent going anywhere at St. Louis University this year. And cars all over campus are suffering.

The crows aren't going anywhere at St. Louis University this year. And cars all over campus are suffering.

The St. Louis University student newspaper, The University News, recently published a piece on the unusual number of crows on campus this year. Terry Palmisano, a maintenance worker for 31 years at the university, said that this was the first year that the crows actually became a problem. And they are definitely leaving their mark on campus.

“The cars in the back of the [Marchetti parking] lot are loaded with bird feces, Palmisano recently told the studnet paper. “…At night, there are hundreds, and it is freaky when they are flying all over the place.”

A biologist at the university understands why the crows are so prevalent this year.

According to Thomas Valone, a behavioral ecologist in the Department of Biology, crows often gather in urban areas for winter roosts because of big trees, open areas, unnatural lighting and food waste. Urban areas are also five to 10 degrees warmer than rural areas because of the heat island effect, which traps the sun’s into urban areas and creates a warmer environment for the crows.

To fend off the crows and the damage they leave behind, the university purchased two life-sized Great Horned Owl decoys with four-and-a-half-foot wingspans. The Great Horned Owl is a natural predator to the crows. Bird-X‘s Prowler Owl fits this billing to a tee.

This visual bird scare is so effective because owls, especially Great Horn Owls, are a natural predator to ravens and crows.

This visual bird scare is so effective because owls, especially Great Horn Owls, are a natural predator to ravens and crows.

The Great Horned Owl is so feared amongst birds because it captures and eats almost anything that moves. Birds instinctively avoid the Prowler Owl as they would a Great Horned Owl. And set-up for the Prowler Owl is beyond simple; it mounts practically anywhere and it is constantly moving in the wind making it more dynamic.

St. Louis University will be receiving their owl decoys by the end of the week. They have also considered sound devices, which would work wonderfully along with the Prowler Owl. Affecting multiple senses is the most effective way to eliminate pest birds.

Comment (1)

Makanch says:
November 12, 2015

My backyard is where I can find peace and tiiaqunlrty. That is due to the many birds that visit here each day. Their chatter is music to my ears. I once had a workman who was walking toward the back garden and asked if I had an aviary because he heard so many birds. They are my friends. I have Warby (a yellow-rumped warbler) who visits one of my hummingbird feeders frequently. I delight in hearing and then spotting the little melodious Bewick wrens. A pair of Titmice come every day to find safflower seeds. And then there are the house finches, sparrows, towhees, hummingbirds, scrub jays,chickadees and goldfinches. In June I await the arrival of the Hooded Orioles. Occasionally I am delighted to see a Nuttall\’s woodpecker or red-breasted sapsucker drop by. What a joy to wake up every morning and hear a symphony and see a rainbow of colors right in my own garden!

* Get an image next to your comment by visiting Gravatar.com and uploading a profile photo that links to your email address.

Post a Comment

All fields are required, unless noted.