Murder mystery: Halifax street invaded by crows

A murder of crows, numbering in the hundreds, has invaded a Halifax neighbourhood.

Hundreds of brash birds making a mess of Clayton Park woman's driveway

A murder of crows, numbering in the hundreds, has invaded a Halifax neighbourhood. 1:50

A murder of crows, numbering in the hundreds, has invaded a Halifax neighbourhood.

Some people on Bayview Road in the Halifax suburb of Clayton Park are dealing with the mess from the hundreds of crows that started showing up regularly in the neighbourhood trees before Christmas.

Until recently Marlene Umlah didn't think much about crows, until they started to take a liking to her property. The evidence is all over the driveway.

“We can't park our car in the driveway at all and the driveway is just absolutely disgusting,” she said.

Droppings from the birds have coated Umlah’s property.

Why crows selected her house isn't clear. Not long ago they roosted at Mount St. Vincent University located a few blocks away, as the crow flies.

“I don't like them as much as they like me,” she said.

Crows are one of the most common birds on the planet. They have more brain mass per unit than any other bird group except the macaw and as a result they often behave more like primates than they do birds.

Crows have a proven ability to reason and problem-solve and have long and dependable memories. They engage in complex social interactions that include group play and hunting.

”I don't think there is going to be anything she can do to get rid of them,” said Hope Swinimer, founder of Hope for Wildlife.

Swinimer knows a thing or two about birds. She runs the animal rescue centre Hope for Wildlife.

“It probably has something to do with feeding them or a food source of some sort in the area,” she said.

Though Umlah has not been the one feeding them.  

“I am sure she’s not impressed,” said Swinimer.

It’s hard to say how long the crows will take a shining to Umlah’s driveway. It's possible they could leave just as suddenly as they appeared.

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