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Madera uses Hanford playbook to scare away crows

Harris Hawk has herded crows out of downtown Madera{p}{/p}
Harris Hawk has herded crows out of downtown Madera

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There's more than one Valley town with a menacing crow problem. Just like Hanford, Madera is using scare tactics to shoo the birds out of its downtown area.

Madera has had a crow problem for decades.

After seeing what Hanford did to scare away the birds the downtown association said what have we got to lose, let's give it a try.

On December 1st, downtown Madera businesses called in the hawks.

They hoped that Integrated Avian Solutions of Portland could have the same success as it did in Hanford.

Rochelle Noblett is a member of the downtown association. "I am so amazed. Just say a month ago I would come out of the gallery and there were so many crows. I couldn't stop at a stop light without being pelted."

Tuesday night the crows were making noise a few blocks away at the county courthouse.

They're still leaving a mess on the sidewalks but in less than three weeks, Ezra the Harris Hawk has convinced them to stay out of downtown Madera. "Since they've been doing this, in just the last couple of weeks it was hard for us to find crows today. It's a huge day and night difference."

The downtown association spent more than $8,000 to get the birds moving west.

Now members are looking to local government for help. "We're hoping the city and county will also chip in some money to get them out in an area that's not inhabited."

Noblett predicts that will take a few months to get the birds to the edge of town.

Even if the crows leave town, it's a sure bet they'll return next year.

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Noblett says they'll have to bring back the hawks to let the next generation of crows know that they're not welcome.

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