Why So Many Crows

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) on trash barrel north side of park

Crows are very intelligent birds, and rarely miss an opportunity for an easy meal. Around the park, there are dozens of open-top trash barrels. Park visitors have been complaining about these crow feeding stations for years. See for example “Kite Cam 5,” May 20 2019 and “Why Crows?” Nov 14 2021. Parks government easily found $1.1 million to hire a fancy consulting firm to propose ridiculous commercial development schemes, but hasn’t been able to come up with the petty cash that it would take to install closed-top trash receptacles. As a result we have far more crows than would occur here if nature had its way, and many other birds have to try to survive relentless crow harassment. And the hard-working Parks maintenance staff members have to pick up trash that the crows have spread around the barrels. Crows are very smart. If we shut down our free lunch stations for them, they’ll move elsewhere.

American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) on and around trash barrel north side of park

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One thought on “Why So Many Crows

  • I wonder whether crows are more, or less, care-less than the Park’s people visitors with respect to the amount of people-sourced trash that ends up on the ground…

    With uncovered trash cans, Marty’s observation is that crows toss some people-trashcan-trash on the ground
    If the Park management replaced all those uncovered trashcans with covered ones, it’s true that the crows would not be able to toss that canned trash out onto the ground. But…, what would be the net difference in the amount of trash that ends up on the ground…

    … if some (how many?) people would no longer be inclined to (successfully) toss their trash into the covered trashcans, opting instead to toss it onto the ground because it’s easier than operating the trashcan cover?

    What trashcan design would thwart crows from entering the can (or at least from attempting to leave the can with trash in beak) while still remaining as inviting to / easy for people to use as an open-top trashcan, to choose to toss into the can rather than onto the ground?

    And, another issue raised by Marty: “… many other birds have to try to survive relentless crow harassment ….”

    Would crow ‘harrassment’ of other birds (e.g., in nestling season) increase were the food from trashcans be reduced/removed (even if the number of crows were fewer, what would the impact of whatever fewer number of crows be on other Park wildlife)?

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