News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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October 3, 2012

Committee preparing to defend city from droppings

Volunteers beginning third year of effort to fend off roosting crows

TERRE HAUTE — Entering its third year, the Terre Haute Crow Committee is calling for volunteers as it starts work this month to reduce concentrated bird gatherings throughout the city.

Using pistol-like noise makers, green-colored lasers, propane-powered canons and fireworks, the Crow Committee will start its plan of action with its first volunteer training session and active evening at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Terre Haute City Hall.

Crow volunteers can expect a 45-minute training session, of which 15 minutes is learning to shoot noise makers. Volunteers will then disperse for the first evening of crow activity. Last year the committee had about 200 volunteers throughout the year.

“Our main focus is to disperse concentrated roostings, so as not to have an area bombarded with crow droppings,” said Jim Luzar, Purdue Extension education and chairman of the Crow Committee, which held an organizational meeting Tuesday.

Last year, the cost of materials and equipment was $22,000, Luzar said.

“In contrast to other communities where it has cost $60,000 and up, we have done this fairly economically,” Luzar said.

The city of Terre Haute helps fund the committee and supplies a Crow Hotline at 812-244-2709 for people to call in crow activity or to call to volunteer.

In addition, this year marks the third year the committee has received financial support from the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. This year the committee will receive $4,000, said Joy Sacopulos, a founder of the committee.

Committee member Matt Christie said the crow fighters should consider using radio-controlled planes or even helicopters this year to add a new factor in crow control. The small planes could be flown at open spaces such as the former Weston Paper and Terre Haute Coke & Carbon properties or even near Honey Creek Mall.

“You need to bring something new to the table each year, something the birds do not expect,” Christie said.

Last year, green-colored lasers were introduced, which will also be used this year; red-colored lasers are no longer effective.

Indiana State University has again contracted with Rockville-based A-Mark Pest & Bird Management Inc. to help control crows, as well as pigeons and starlings, on the university campus, said Jim Gregg, ISU steam plant manager and a member of the crow committee.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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