Crow crisis in Galesburg

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Galesburg joins a long list of towns, including Iowa City, dealing with a crow crisis.

Droppings from the birds are landing on sidewalks, cars and even people walking.

Not to mention, the creepy sounds people say they make.

“I’ve actually been loading the truck and thought I heard a woman screaming and it was just the crows,” said Linda Sallo.

It’s one particular tree where they like to roost.

“You can’t even see the limbs of the tree because there are so many crows making all these weird noises,” said Sallo.

But, noise isn’t the only problem.

“They use the restroom all over everything,” said Chief. Cindy Miller, head of security at the Knox County Courthouse. “All of this ground and the sidewalk is just completely covered.”

Miller says every morning she arrives at work at the courthouse, the birds leave a mess behind in the form of white droppings.

“It was bad,” said Miller. “It was really bad.”

Experts say the crows come to roost in the downtown areas, mainly, because they generate more heat than the rural parts of town.”

“I’ve been here 17 years with the Sheriff’s Dept. and every year we’ve had an issue with it,” she said.

They’ve tried all kinds of things to rid the town of the crows, like “bird bombs” similar to firecrackers.

They now use crow distress calls that come out of speaker attached to the side of the courthouse.

Ones like it hang on the outside of other downtown buildings.

They’ve had some luck in the past.

But, recently, the birds have seemed to outsmart them.

“I’d believe that, yeah. They get immune just like we get immune. They must like to crap on us, I don’t know.”

Other methods like lasers, firecrackers and even artificial crow effigies could be used next fall to rid the town of the pesky birds.

In the meantime, prisoners from the jail are being used to spray the sidewalks clean with pressure washers.