Raven, crow damage is on the rise

Here is a story for the birds.

Ravens and crows are causing damage to California’s orchards, vineyards, and dairies.

The California Ag Network reports that damage is on the rise. Their beaks can put holes in water lines and chew through wires. They can even poke out the eyes of livestock.

USDA offers some advice for dealing with the birds.

According to APHIS’s Brian Popper, “To deal with crows there’s a standing depredation order, 2143, that authorizes the use of lethal measures to remove crows. You have to do some sort of non-lethal techniques, but if they’re causing damage to agriculture or other stuff you can go ahead and deal with them. Ravens, they’re currently not on the depredation order. There’s talk that they may at some point be added to it, so to deal with ravens you actually have to go through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and get a migratory bird permit. First step of that is contact wildlife services and get a Form 37 filled out that you can then submit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

In order to tell the difference between the two birds, know that ravens are usually bigger than crows and generally travel in groups of two to six. Crows can be found in flocks of 20 to 30.