Crow relocation underway

January 30, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Office of Physical Plant (OPP) crow relocation program switched to pyrotechnic bangers and screamers last week. Large flocks of crows are currently roosting in trees along Shortlidge Road and OPP teams intend to persuade them to fly north and east. The campus community can expect to hear loud noises in the vicinity of South Halls after dusk. OPP has successfully engaged the crows with laser pointers over the past few months, but the crows have adapted and OPP is switching to more aggressive techniques.

Pyrotechnic bangers and screamers have been routinely deployed by OPP in the past few years. They are quite loud when compared to noise-less laser pointers but are also very effective. These noise-making activities will occur early in the evening shortly after dusk and could continue for a couple of hours each night. Specific dates and locations will be determined based on crow roosting patterns and will occur only when needed. All relocation activities will be safely conducted by highly-trained and experienced Physical Plant employees. Team members will be wearing blue and green reflective safety vests.

The migratory crows visiting our campus have proven to be both smart and stubborn. With the extreme cold and snow cover, they are not easily persuaded to leave campus as they have done in past years. OPP plans to continue periodic crow harassment until they leave for the spring. Pressure washing of sidewalks will commence as soon as the first days of warmer weather arrive.

Last year, approximately 3,000 migrating crows landed on campus causing unsanitary and unpleasant conditions. The goal of this intitiative is to discourage this mass roosting and the accompanying sanitation problems. No crows are harmed by the relocation and harassment activities.

Physical Plant is again partnering with Penn State researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to relocate the migrating crows. Penn State will also work closely with State College Borough to jointly find solutions to this continuing problem and OPP crews routinely monitor crow concentrations on campus. The campus community can report bothersome crow activity and campus sanitation concerns by contacting Paul Ruskin at or by calling 814-863-9620.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 04, 2014