Crows (Corvidea spp.)
Crows are a common sight across the UK, since they feed on such a wide variety of food sources. Black in colour and medium sized, their intelligence and lack of fear towards humans make them a formidable pest bird species.
Crows (Corvidea spp.)- The Key Facts
Crows belong to the Corvus family, which includes a number of other notable birds such as rooks, jays, ravens, and magpies. While all of these birds are technically crows, in this instance we are specifically referring to the carrion crow, which is what most people mean when they speak about crows. These birds are medium in size and black all over, including the beak, and their feathers tend to have somewhat of a sheen about them. In strong sunlight, this can make the crows appear to be tinged purple or green, but this is merely the light bouncing off their feathers. They can easily be told apart from the equally common rook by their beaks- crows’ beaks are invariably black, whereas rooks have a light grey beak.
Unlike many other corvids, crows are generally solitary birds. While they may be seen together when feeding on, for instance, an open bag of rubbish, they spend most of their time alone. However, they do share the high intelligence of all other corvid species, and crows are in fact one of the most intelligent species in the entire animal kingdom. They have a reputation for being extremely crafty and have even been seen making basic use of tools in order to carry objects around.
It is due to this intelligence that crows are such a common sight in urban areas as well as in the countryside. The name “carrion crow” refers to their habit of feeding on dead animals, in the same manner as vultures. However, as opportunistic feeders, they eat more than just meat. They will happily consume fruit, seeds, and household scraps, and therefore gather near humans since we provide them with an easy source of food.
Crows can be particularly troublesome since they are smart enough to tear open rubbish bags to get at whatever might be inside. They will then dig through the rubbish and throw it around until they find something to eat, causing significant litter issues in otherwise clean areas. They also quickly become tame when they get used to humans, so while you might be able to scare them off temporarily, they will usually be back before too long.
Crows (Corvidea spp.)- The Importance of Pest Control
As with all species of wild birds, carrion crows are protected under law, meaning there are very strict rules about how they can be controlled. In Scotland, people are forbidden from recklessly killing or injuring crows, and in England and Wales, this is completely illegal. In addition, crows are often confused with ravens, and the latter have much stricter protections. It is therefore a good idea to allow a professional pest control company to take care of carrion crow control on your behalf, to ensure that you are always staying within the law.
Although crows cannot be harmed at random, they are covered by general pest control licenses, and Pest Solutions are thus fully equipped to deal with these troublesome birds. In the vast majority of cases, we focus more on crow deterrents than culling. Even if one deals with the crows in a particular infestation, there is still every chance that another group will come to take their place if changes are not more to the environment they live in. We implement a range of different solutions, from scaring systems to physical barriers to crows roosting. In some cases, though, we may use traps, which need to be checked every 24 hours to ensure that they are not causing any unnecessary harm to the crows inside.
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