Crow relocation efforts to continue at University Park campus

January 06, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- The Office of Physical Plant (OPP) at Penn State will resume its crow relocation program this evening (Wednesday, Jan. 6). Large groups of crows have been gathering in the vicinity of Ford, Moore, Cedar and Chambers buildings, and near West Halls, Rec Hall, the HUB-Robeson Center and Pond Laboratory. Occupants of these buildings may experience the loudest noises as OPP's sonic harassment efforts begin.

OPP's anti-crow team will begin its efforts on the north side of Old Main at 7:30 p.m.; the campus community can expect to hear loud noises in the early evening as University employees launch anti-crow pyrotechnic noisemakers intended to convince the crows move to less problematic locations. Pyrotechnic operations may continue for several weeks until this objective is met.

OPP's goal is to drive crows to a stand of trees east of the Visitor’s Center on the University Park campus. Small groups of highly trained OPP employees will be conducting the relocation operation and will be wearing distinctive green safety vests. Once the crows have vacated a location, crow effigies will be hung to dissuade the crows from returning. Light towers will be erected in the targeted relocation woods east of the Visitor’s Center to make the area more appealing to the crows.

No crows will be harmed in this operation. The public can expect some disturbance from the noisemaking activities and possible crow infestation if the crows attempt to re-roost in populated areas.

In addition to OPP's efforts, the College of Agricultural Sciences is employing propane cannons at the dairy barns and at the the Organic Materials Processing and Education Center (OMPEC). These cannons produce loud blasts to scare crows away. The cannons may be used for most of the day, seven days a week, throughout the rest of the winter.

Last year about 3,000 migrating crows landed at Penn State's University Park campus, creating unsanitary and unpleasant conditions. OPP's goal is to discourage this mass roosting.

Physical Plant is partnering with Penn State researchers and the USDA Wildlife Services to relocate the migrating crows. Penn State also will work closely with the Borough of State College to jointly find solutions to this continuing problem. For further information, contact Paul Ruskin, physical plant communications coordinator, at 814-863-9620 or at

Last Updated January 06, 2010