Crows plague uptown Charlottetown

Some Charlottetown residents say a pilot project aimed at getting thousands of crows out of the Brighton neighbourhood has simply relocated the messy, loud birds to another area.
Charlottetown Coun. Mitch Tweel says uptown residents should be compensated by the city for the new crow problem in their neighbourhood. ((CBC))
Some Charlottetown residents say a pilot project aimed at getting thousands of crows out of the Brighton neighbourhood is for the birds.

They say the project worked, but the messy and loud birds have simply relocated to their uptown neighbourhood.

A councillor, who has been fielding complaints for weeks, is calling for the project to be scrapped and for residents to be compensated.

"They should submit their bills to city hall — get their cars washed, get them cleaned. Some of their houses need to be cleaned," said Coun. Mitchell Tweel.

The area from Upper Prince Street to Queen Street has never had a problem with crows before, he said. But now, they're everywhere.

"Thousands and thousands and thousands of crows have migrated to this particular community, and it's almost like we're in the middle of an Alfred Hitchcock movie," he said.

Tweel thinks a pilot project last November to address the long-standing crow problem in Brighton is to blame.

The city offered to loan Brighton area residents its Phoenix Wailers, $4,000 machines that play sounds of predators and gunshots to disperse crows.

The idea was to move the crows to Victoria Park, but they've been gathering uptown.

"My personal assessment, this program has to be scrapped," said Tweel.

Cars have been covered in crow droppings in an uptown neighbourhood of Charlottetown. ((CBC))
Moira Doyle, who lives in the area, said the birds are taking over, with droppings everywhere.

"A real lot on the streets, on the cars, and even on my jacket, it was gross," she said.

Henry Josey said his cousin's car was covered with droppings when he came to visit last week.

"You couldn't see out of the windshield, it was just polluted," Josey said. "It took about 12, 13 buckets of water to clean it off."

Coun. Rob Lantz, who started the pilot project, said it's not the Brighton residents causing the migration, it's the lieutenant-governor's residence.

A wailer was set up at Fanningbank on Jan. 22 as part of the pilot project, he said, noting that the committee didn't want the wailer to go there because that would mean the crows would be displaced yet again.

But the pilot project ends Friday, so the crows could soon head back to Victoria Park on their own, Lantz said.

Meanwhile, a wildlife specialist is expected to review the project to determine whether it should continue.