Bill Boyd

Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Kentville

In summary the Phoenix Wailer did and has worked extremely well. We have been able to move the crows from the original roost completely. This past fall the birds tried to return and we had to set up the Wailer for two nights. After that they did not return.


Original Letter:

Town of Kentville

Chief Administrative Officer
Kentville, Nova Scotia

April 18, 1997

Bruce Blacklock
Phoenix Agritech (Canada) Ltd.
P.O. Box 10
Truro, Nova Scotia
B2N 5B6

Dear Bruce

About six years ago, the Town of Kentville was hit with a major influx of crows. Approximately 40,000 was the estimated number by the Department of Natural Resources. Although the crows had been coming to the area for the past thirty years, they always roosted in the rural area. For some reason they left this roost and ended up in the town of Kentville. The crows’ home or roost was located in a downtown area adjacent to business and an older residential section of Town. For the first year the crows were considered a novelty. An awesome sight, but many residents felt they were only here temporary and when they went in the Spring that would be it. However when they kept returning for the next two years, the residents and businesses started getting annoyed. The mess and noise they created was unbelievable. That is when the situation was brought to the Town’s attention in a more serious vain. The residents and businesses wanted something done with the nuisance and wanted it done immediately.

The Town tried everything that was suggested and thought of, to try and move the crows. Public meetings were held. One in particular, was a presentation form a biologist, Peter MacDonald from the Department of Natural Resources on the migration patterns and habits of the birds. The fact was, we were dealing with one of the most highly intelligent species of bird when we were dealing with the crows.

In the fall of 1994 Phoenix Agritech were invited to put on a demonstration of the Phoenix Wailer Mark III. In their presentation they gave a detailed background of how the Mark III was developed. One of the unique features of the Mark III from the Mark I&II was the technology. With the Mark III, sounds were produced that mimicked the sounds of the birds and their enemies. With the Mark I & II sonic sounds were produced, where as the Mark III sounds were more conducive to residential environments.

The Town purchased a Mark III in the fall of 1994 and had it in use for when the crows started migrating to Kentville in early November. The Town knew it would not be easy to move the crows as the biologist cautioned us that it would take a couple of years. When the Mark III Wailer started to work the birds started to move to other parts of Town. Instead of moving the Wailer, we borrowed another Wailer-Mark III from the local Research Station. This Wailer was used as a portable unit that was moved around from place to place to where the birds moved to. We felt it was important to leave a Wailer at the original roost as the crows tried to return. I would add that on one occasion the Town had to use reinforcement with the crows. As you can imagine when 40,000 crows become threatened or distressed they make a lot of noise and mess. We discovered that after a couple of weeks the crows were leaving the roost when the Wailer went off, but they did not appear to be as frightened as before. What we ended up doing was destroying a few to reinforce the Wailer. When the Wailer went off and the crows became distressed; they kept looking for something to be distressed about. That is when the Town police shot a few. We only had to destroy about two dozen altogether but in my opinion it assisted the Wailer. And we only had to do this twice.

In summary the Mark III-Wailer did and has worked extremely well. We have been able to move the crows from the original roost completely. This past fall the birds tried to return and we had to set up the Wailer for two nights. After that they did not return. There was another area of Town that a smaller flock tried to set up a roost, and efforts had to be directed to this area for most of last winter until the crows left. The crows for the most part have left Town. It will not be until next fall that we well know for sure. The Town has received reports that a new roost was established just outside the Town this past winter. However as the biologist has cautioned us, it might take four of five years to completely move the crows. So the Town will not be letting down its guard for a while.

I hope this information is helpful to other communities who may be experiencing a similar bird nuisance and need a suggestion on how to deal with it.

Yours truly,

Bill Boyd
Chief Administrative Officer