Crow Relocation Project Resumes

Crows Coming to Roost

Monday, January 5, 2009

University Park — Invasive crows have returned to University Park in greater numbers than expected, and the Office of Physical Plant is responding immediately.  OPP crow relocation crews will begin launching noise making pyrotechnics on Tuesday evening (Jan. 6) in campus areas north of Pattee Library.  This will include locations in the vicinity of the Nittany Lion Parking deck, Rackley Building, Carpenter Building, Kern Building, Moore Building and the Music Building.  Efforts last semester were successful in moving the crows away from Old Main and prevented them from roosting along College Avenue. Unfortunately the crow numbers have increased and caused sanitation problems in their new roosting areas. New efforts will refocus with the purpose of moving the crows north and east completely into Hort Woods.  OPP Landscape crews will pressure wash areas in that part of campus on an ongoing basis to prepare for returning students. OPP will survey the new roosting patterns to monitor the results of our new relocation efforts.

The University community can expect occasional loud noises in the early evening as workers attempt to chase the crows into less problematic locations. All relocation activities are conducted by Physical Plant employees, who have been carefully trained in the use of pyrotechnic noisemakers called "bangers" and "screamers." The pyrotechnics will be used to scare the crows away. Since where the crows go cannot be controlled, it may be necessary to continue this process for days and weeks until the crows settle into more tolerable locations, according to Physical Plant workers. Once the crows have vacated a location, crow effigies will be hung to dissuade the crows from returning.  Physical Plant is partnering with Penn State researchers, State College Borough officials, and the USDA Wildlife Services to relocate the migrating crows.  

Last year about 3,000 migrating crows landed on the University Park campus causing unsanitary and unpleasant conditions along the Allen Street Mall and the College Avenue bus stop. The goal of the University is to discourage this mass roosting and the accompanying sanitary problems. "No roosting zones" have been designated on campus and OPP will work to keep the crows away from central campus.  Crows are attracted to the light and warmth from University buildings.  Penn State will work closely with the borough to jointly find solutions to this continuing problem.  For more information, contact Paul Ruskin, Physical Plant communications coordinator, at (814) 863-9620 or at


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Last Modified: February 3, 2010