(SUNNYSIDE, Wash.) — Police in Sunnyside, Washington, are stepping up their battle against a swarm of crows aggravating citizens and disrupting city services.
Commander Scott Bailey of the Sunnyside Police Department said his cops have recently begun using pyrotechnics as a way to scare off the crows that have multiplied dramatically in the last five years.
“Basically, it’s a firework inside a pistol shell,” he told ABC News, noting that the shells, sometimes called “bird bombs,” offer a non-lethal option for the police to combat the booming population.
“We’re simply trying to scare them off. We’re dealing with up to 10,000 crows every day,” he said.
The crows are causing numerous issues for townspeople, including health risks from feces, noise pollution, and even attacks during nesting season, Bailey said, adding that the birds pose a constant risk to the city’s electricity services because they sit in large numbers on power lines.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife notes on its website that crows are among the “most adaptable and intelligent birds.” They say harassment techniques are usually only effective for a short time.
But the pyrotechnics are part of a long-term strategy to move the crows into areas away from the city, Bailey said, noting his department is hoping to establish a “tree line” for birds to congregate away from the city within the next five years.
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