NFR What gives with all the crows (?) around here?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Brian White, May 7, 2013.

  1. Brian White Recovering Bugmeister/Troutlandish?

    This thread may have been done previously, but here goes...Is it just me, or has the population of crows (and/or possibly some other annoying black bird species) around the Seattle area totally exploded in recent years? I watched about a billion of them harrassing a hawk last night, and I kept hoping the hawk would catch one and just go to town on it. Alas, no such luck.

    Has their population not expanded as much as I perceive, or if they have grown in numbers...why? I wish they'd migrate permanently to some area I don't intend to reside close to. I hear Yuma Arizona is a great place for loud aggressive birds - fly there and try it!
  2. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,178
    the beach
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    I don't know if their numbers have increased, but you might just be noticing an extra amount of aggressiveness right now. I believe it is or is getting close to crow mating season, which makes them a little wild. Definitely been dive-bombed by a few around this time of year.

    With that said, I love crows. Such a cool, intelligent bird. And more or less unfuckwithable.

  3. Steve Call Active Member

    Posts: 1,553
    Wetside, WA
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    I'm not positive but I think the crows are nesting now. Hawks and eagles will steal eggs and/or eat the little chicks, so it is normal for the crows to harass any raptors in the vicinity. And, yes the crow populations have been on the rise for some time.
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  4. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 865
    Marine Area 9
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    Giant flocks of crows are the second sign of the Seattle apocalypse. The first was mayor Greg Nickels.
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  5. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,422
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
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    Camped at Deception a couple weeks ago and they were chasing hawks to no end, loud indeed, but kinda a cool to see. One early 6ish am there were about 20 crows chasing a large size hawk. They were zipping up and down some among the 90 foot firs. The hawk would stop at a tree and land every 20 seconds or so, and the crows would time right before the hawk was hoping to land a crow from 10 o'clock nose dive and I swear he bumped the hawk due to the flight interuption and slight angle change of flight path. I couldnt tell if the hawk had any thing. They are definetly a band of brothers to the end!
  6. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,042
    Des Moines
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    Why are crows so loud?....caws
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  7. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,992
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Obviously you've never seen "The Birds".
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  8. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,422
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
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    Yes GAT...the movie did inspire them to make more noise. :D
  9. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 889
    Silverdale, WA
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  10. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 2,013
    Wallingford, WA
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    nah, you can for sure mess with them...but they'll get you back...

    Ever seen one of those Halloween bats that hangs by a string and you turn the battery on and it flaps and flaps around a pivot with these freakish glowing eyes? Turn that on under a crow flight path like 45th street at about 4:30- 5 pm in October and they go insane. It is sort of hilarious.

    Mind you, payback's a bitch, they scavenge the thrown out wrappers from Dicks, the ones with a bit of cheese and ketchup still on it, fly them up to my roof, put them in the gutters and eat them. So 6 am you get a tack-tack sound of a crow eating leftover Dicks in your gutter. Then when the rains come, you get a bunch of burger wrappers clogging your downspout, which in turn leads to lots of water getting close to the foundation, oozing through wall cracks and into your newly installed carpet which in turn gets moldy...not that I would know any of that from experience or anything
  11. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,378
    Woodinville, WA
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  12. Kevin J. Burnham Active Member

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    More and more every year. Remember when there were Robins everywhere ? Not anymore !!!!
  13. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
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    Crows are very good at remembering who has messed with them in the past. Dr. John Marzluff and his students at UW did an experiment where one of them put on a Halloween mask (George Bush, as I remember) and harassed some crows. In response, the crows mob whomever wears that mask, even crows that weren't present at the original event and for years afterward. He and Tony Angell wrote a fascinating book, In the Company of Crows and Ravens (2005, Yale University Press).

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  14. Pete Bridge Member

    Posts: 191
    Lake Tapps, Wa
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    "Unfuckwittable" u mean
  15. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,992
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Yes, yes it did.

    At least that don't go around, as raven's do, mumbling "never more".

    I don't mind the crows. They are quite intelligent and we feed them along with the noisy scrub jays... and a scrub jay has a much more irritating voice than a crow.
  16. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,178
    the beach
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    There are tons of robins around my place this spring--one in particular wakes me up every morning about 6 am doing the same 3 part call. Ugh. I have to wear ear plugs if I want to sleep in.

  17. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    I remember there were a lot of robins in NE Oregon when I lived over there. We don't see nearly as many in The Willamette Valley.

    It seems the starling population is growing and that isn't good. They will displace native birds to the NW.
  18. 2506 Member

    Posts: 161
    Seattle, WA
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    The proper collective noun is murder, not flock. And that's just plain cool.
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  19. Flyborg Active Member

    Posts: 2,299
    Kalama, WA
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    Odin grows stronger as more and more people hear the calling in their souls and heed the voices of the old gods. The Pacific Northwest is a hotbed of Norse Heathenism and an increase in raven activity is a sure sign of the raven-gods growing strength.
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  20. Preston Active Member

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    I grew up in West Seattle and spent a good part of every summer at Lincoln Park. At that time (late 40s into the 50s) there were few crows around. Steller Jays were much more common than crows in the park then. I suspect that the growing number of crows has something to do with the increasing urbanization of the Puget Sound basin; crows do extremely well in intensely urbanized environments.

    GAT mentions Scrub Jays which are quite common in Oregon but, until recently, were uncommon outside of the very southwest portion of Washington state. Over the last two years, a friend of mine (on Queen Anne Hill) has reported seeing at least a couple of Scrubs in his back yard; another example of a species changing/enlarging its range.

    Crows and ravens are, of course, different species and, aside from the difference in size (the raven is significantly larger), and the voice (ravens have a much larger range of vocalizations, ranging from a croak to a "clonk" like someone knocking two pieces of wood together, as well as being highly ventriloquial and able to imitate the calls of many other birds), the easiest way to differentiate between them is the shape of the tail in flight. The crow's tail has a relatively square profile while that of the raven is triangular
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