Crows — you either hate them or you hate them.

OK, you may like crows. There are a lot of them in our town — probably more than agents and their numbers have been on the rise since the 1980s (the crows, not the agents).

5 things you need to know:

  1. Crows have a pretty bad rap — in the movies, at least. But the truth is, Native Americans have always had a great deal of respect for them, as they symbolize wisdom rather than death, as they've often been portrayed. That might be because a group of them is called a “murder of crows.” Not good PR really, is it?
  2. The common American crow, or in Latin, Corvus brachyrhynchos, is really quite fascinating. They’re great at controlling insects. They can live to be as old as 20. They’re family orientated and mate for life. They’re also highly intelligent, a study revealed that they can recognize people that have been mean to them and even pass on that information to their little ones. Talk about a grudge.
  3. Crows will eat anything: the garbage we leave out, your Aunt Susan’s crème brûlée, and even dog and cat food. Our neighborhoods are just perfect for crows because they’re used to open plains with trees to nest in.
  4. Crows are social, so they’re really noisy. They’re the OG Twitter, for goodness' sake. And they even have their own language that scientists are trying to crack — "crowing." They often roost in hundreds, sometimes thousands.
  5. So, how can we move them on if they’re in our neighborhood? Well, culling them doesn’t work well, and I’m certainly not ready to eat crow. Plastic owls don’t work, and I suppose that’s why scarecrows got their name. Canadians, however, had luck with using trained hawks to scare them. Recordings of distressed crows and dummy dead ones also work pretty well, so if you make them feel nervous, they’ll move their entire family to a safer place, just like we would.

However you look at it, the common American crow is here to stay — unless you make a flap about it. And if you do, you’ll certainly give them plenty to crow about.