-- DAMAGES --
When crows are flocking, hundreds of noisy pest birds take over trees or buildings, creating tremendous amounts of noise while harassing both people and animals. Another crow problem is their droppings which can lead to structural damage. The uric acid in the excrement can eat away at stone, metal and masonry. The bacteria, fungal agents and parasites in crow feces is a very serious health risk. Crows are an agricultural problem because they love corn and most other crops. This includes newly planted seeds when they begin to sprout. Crows are scavengers and eat a wide variety of things such as insects, frogs, lizards, eggs, mice and any injured animal or carcass of a dead animal. It's also been reported by some of our customers that crows will pull garlic bulbs out of the ground not to eat but to look for insects under the bulb. These highly intelligent birds are very social and the flock is in constant communication with each other. Crows will gather in massive feeding flocks during certain seasons of the year. They will join with other flocks to form enormous roosts that can cause serious damage to property.
-- DANGERS --
After the 1994 Northridge California earthquake, thousands of people had come down with flu-like respiratory ailments. It was called "Valley Fever" and was from breathing in dust debris. This debris was filled with histoplasmosis spores and fungal agents. These agents are found in bird droppings. The bird droppings promote their growth. Several thousand people a year become infected, with the vast majority of them displaying flu-like symptoms. Some however, display serious symptoms causing death or long hospitalization.
Nuisance birds harbor ticks, fleas, mites and other ectoparasites, which live on these birds, in their nests and in places they roost. These parasites are responsible for the transmission of several hundred viral and bacterial agents. These diseases include: the plague, encephalitis, pox and meningitis. Control of these parasites is a crucial phase of containing health hazards to humans.
The last, and most rare, mode of transmitting any of these diseases is through direct contact with feces. This situation occurs when people get fecal dust or droppings in an open wound or open cut when cleaning bird nesting areas. Infection can occur at the location of the wound and in serious cases, blood and internal infection can occur. Proper attire including breathing protection should always be taken and used when cleaning a bird nesting site.
-- WEST NILE VIRUS --
The West Nile Virus was first recorded in North America in 1999, and since then it has spread across the continent.
The virus infects a variety of animal species, including humans. In Africa and the Middle East, it is endemic in birds. The North American strain has also been isolated from many bird species. Indeed, it is so deadly to American crows (Corvax brachyrynchos), that crow deaths are used as an early indicator of west nile virus presence in an area.
The North American strain of West Nile Virus is particularly lethal to crows. Seeing a number of crows dead would be a good indicator of West Nile Virus. It would be best to contact your local Animal Control Services for proper testing immediately. Current West Nile Virus Alerts 2017
-- ABOUT THE CROW --
The crow is a large black bird belonging to the family of Passerine birds that comprise the genus Corvus in the family Corvidae. They can be found everywhere except South America and Antarctica. Crows are very similar to the raven in appearance, but are smaller and less heavily billed. Like the ravens, crows are among the most intelligent and adaptable of birds. Crows grow to about 50cm (20 inches) long and are commonly colored a glossy black. They can live up to 14 years in the wild and more than 20 years in captivity. The typical call of a crow is a loud and harsh caw-caw-caw or crah-crah-crah.
Crows generally roost together in large numbers, for warmth and safety during the winter. One flock of crows can number many hundreds or thousands. In literary terms, the collective noun for a group of crows is a "murder", however most people today use the more generic term of flock or horde. Each mating pair of crows will have its own nest, which will be built high up in a tall tree and made of sticks and twigs. The female crow will lay and incubate two to eight greenish-to-olive colored eggs, and when they hatch, both parents will then begin sharing in the care of their young.
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