The Plan

The Lancaster Crow Coalition was formed to do two things:

Our results in the winters of 2007 through 2013 demonstrate that non-lethal management is the cheapest, most effective way to go. We'll be continuing to use these methods each year.

Based on analysis of our data -- gathered by Penn State scientists who tracked radio-collared crows and who observed the birds and literally engaged in "counting crows" -- and our volunteer-based observations -- our non-lethal management works.

This coming season we'll be using the same tools and methods. We start in late October, as crows began turning up after the warmer weather ended in New York, New England, and Canada. We will continue our efforts, as needed, into January. The management will be most intense in November and December, when we anticipate the highest numbers of crows to have arrived and be looking for places to roost. If this winter is as cold as last winter, we will have to work harder to move the crows, who just like us, want to be where it's warmer (on or near heated buildings). This is where more volunteers can be helpful.

We will also continue to utilize the concept of tolerance zones where crows are not accepted at all ("Zero Tolerance" zones), zones where some crows would be acceptable ("Moderate Tolerance" zones), and zones where crows are completely OK ("Full Tolerance" zones). We'll be making the Zero Tolerance zones inhospitable (with pyrotechnics) from the start, with the intention of showing the crows where they'll encounter the least amount of harassment from humans -- in places where we leave them alone (in Moderate and Full Tolerance zones).

Ongoing Efforts

While we'll always have crows migrating through Lancaster (the county has been in their internal itinerary for centuries), and probably large numbers of them (usually about 30,000), we can and will keep moving them out of undesirable spots and working to fine-tune the non-lethal, effective ways to prevent their causing any damage to property or making a mess with their droppings in public areas.

There ARE some places where they don't bother anyone, where people are either unaware of them or are able to enjoy them, and it's in those places where we'll leave them alone so they learn to stay where no harassment occurs.

PLEASE don't take crow management into your own hands.

You would be breaking the law (it's illegal to kill them), you could be causing harm to other animals (poison you put out yourself will kill other animals, too, which is also illegal - and cruel), and you risk counteracting the official management methods being used. If you think you've got a problem with crows (and simply SEEING CROWS is NOT necessarily a problem!), call our hotline at: 717-397-0776.