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October 12, 2011 12:31 AM   Subscribe

How can I scare away the crow who squawks in the middle of the night in the tree outside my bedroom?

I have read this Ask and good general suggestions, especially about the loud sharp noises.

The difference here is the crow is making a nuisance of itself at night, specifically between 1am and 2am. I have heard my neighbours slamming their windows shut and swearing at the same time as I am roused and swearing myself.

Any fresh insights or ideas from animal behaviorists, ornithologists or interested punters?

I'm in SE Queensland and it's spring here, if that's useful. I suspect fruit-bats are harassing the crow but not sure and don't really care WHY it's crowing in the wee hours, I just want it to stop. I glimpsed the culprit today at sundown going to roost as well. He/She is about 4 metres away from my balcony.
posted by evil_esto to Pets & Animals (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't really have any idea if this will work for crows but here in Austin we have this major grackle problem (grackles being basically big ugly nasty scurvy lumps of shit with feathers and big goddamn mouths who squawk and poop all over everything) and what the city has found out is that green laser lights shined up into the trees flips them the hell right out and they take off -- I know a kid who has a job, two hours at sunup and two hours at sunset, shining that lazer into trees that restaurants have hired them for, and/or the city has hired them for.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:20 AM on October 12, 2011

Response by poster: Where can i get a green laser and/or willing kid to take the graveyard shift of Crow scarin'?

(Only thing I know about green lasers is they are illegal in Australia because of the danger to commercial aviation posed by naughty kids).
posted by evil_esto at 1:29 AM on October 12, 2011

This might win you more ire than the crow, but I got rid of my porch pigeon problem by shaking an old pill bottle full of coins out the window whenever they settled down.

Let them sit, get comfortable. SHAKE SHAKE OMG LOUD NOISE. Watch them fly away. Let them come back, get comfortable. SHAKE SHAKE OMG LOUD NOISE. And so on.

Do this enough times, do this consistently, and they'll come to learn that the tree outside your bedroom is the place where scary loud noises happen, and they'll (hopefully) find someplace else to settle down and squawk. (And poop.)
posted by phunniemee at 2:01 AM on October 12, 2011

Introduce him to your little friend.

You can use this in combination with scary flashy shiny things, like CD "wind chimes" and so on.
posted by DisreputableDog at 2:14 AM on October 12, 2011

I live in an area that gets huge flocks of ravens-the CD "wind chimes" work well during the day.Perhaps some small LED lights to reflect off them at night might work.Many in my area have found that leaving a few deceased family members around (birds that is ) definitely keeps them away (neighbor put 2 dead ravens on his roof-they never came back).
posted by plumberonkarst at 3:16 AM on October 12, 2011

How can I scare away the crow who squawks in the middle of the night in the tree outside my bedroom?

Put the silhouette of an owl on a window facing the tree.
posted by three blind mice at 3:24 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

An owl decoy, or motion activated owl decoy would be my first line of defense, followed by hot lead, depending upon the local laws of course.
posted by caddis at 4:47 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

The traditional method is to kill a crow and hang its body nearby, usually by the feet. However this may not be appropriate for your neighbourhood.
posted by Hogshead at 5:11 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Crows are really, really smart. Scary smart. My kid is nuts about them, from reading stories about some in Jean Craighead George's books - and so we've looked them up. They're actually known to hold grudges, and can get vindictive. So, without knowing how Crow be Gone works - I'd say a better solution is to rotate through deterrents, like shiny CDs, rubber snakes, spraying water and such - which it might find amusing - but know that if it figures out what you're doing is harmful to him, you're in trouble.
posted by peagood at 5:37 AM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

Here's an interesting Ted Talks with further insight into the intelligence of crows.
posted by any major dude at 6:56 AM on October 12, 2011

Aa shotgun is the best solution to crow problems. Since shooting them's typically illegal within city limits, I'd be looking into slingshot options, especially since your target's only 4 meters away.
posted by Rash at 8:12 AM on October 12, 2011

Green lasers.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:31 AM on October 12, 2011

I am guessing a noisemaker going off every 10 mins like they use to keep parrots off of the grapes in vineyard would defeat your purposes of sleeping, have you thought about something like a decoy owl or bird of prey to sit in the tree near the nesting area? Some sort of cheap strobe lighting or disco ball with flashing lights from a dollar store you could hang outside your window and just turn on when the bird caws. You can often find them in dollar stores and the like. The trouble is with smart birds like crows, magpies and parrots they can be hard to outwit and can carry grudges, but if it learns that every time it crows the scary lights come on it might move or shut up.
posted by wwax at 9:17 AM on October 12, 2011

Oops meant to put this in the post above and forgot, it offers tips on getting crows to move.

posted by wwax at 9:21 AM on October 12, 2011

I'd go the sling-shot/wrist-rocket route.
posted by zombieApoc at 9:41 AM on October 12, 2011

If you decide on a method that requires active intervention, recruit your neighbors and you can each take one night to shake or shine or whatever.
posted by CathyG at 10:04 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

A super soaker or similar type squirt gun.

I wouldn't use anything that could hurt/kill the crow(s), but I'm a bunny crow hugger.
posted by deborah at 1:33 PM on October 12, 2011

If you put anything dead out, the crow may untie it and drop it on you.

Something similar happened to my mother when she found the carcass of a bird or animal (maybe a chicken carcass looted from the garbage) in her bird bath and removed it. We learned that a crow had probably stashed it there to let it rot before it ate it (that's why they're called carrion crows).

The next day that she was working in the garden, the crow flew up and dropped something even more disgusting (a deceased fledgling that had already turned green) on her head.
posted by bad grammar at 6:06 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I threw onions at the nest and it made them fly away.
After a few weeks I think the chicks hatched and they moved out for the season. No lasers necessary, Onions $1 per kilo at supermarket.
posted by evil_esto at 12:49 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

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