Crow causes power outage

A deafening flock of crows swirled above an East Ballard neighborhood this morning after one of their own sparked a small power outage.

Before we could make our first cup of joe this morning, a loud bang outside the My Ballard headquarters was followed by dozens of alarmed crows flying and cawing overhead. A crow had lost a fight with the power lines just before 7:30 a.m., dropping dead into the street below. Only five or six neighbors lost power, but we’re sure that people from blocks away could hear the birds. Seattle City Light responded quickly and got the power back on within an hour.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

55 thoughts to “Crow causes power outage”

  1. One less crow for the dog to bother.

    This sunday at Jefferson Park Golf Course, the crows were going totally nuts. Moments after we all wondered why they were so angry, a bald eagle flew out from a tree at about 25 or 30 feet. It was chased by about 5 crows, but for their numbers, this eagle could have messed them up. The size difference is that stark. Poor old eagle.

  2. Good. Kill them all. Those things have been attacking my neighbors and dogs, but we can't do a thing about them due to their “protected status”. Nothing more beautiful than a crow in the early morning…or all afternoon. Such wondrous animals.

  3. Good call on the slingshot! Just make sure to shoot biodegradeable ammunition. Jawbreakers or other rock-hard, spherical candy work well.

  4. Hi, all.

    I'm not being sarcastic, just stating how I feel. I love crows. They and we share this beautiful part of the world. I've been dive-bombed by one during their nesting season, but I still love to see and hear them. Also, if you observe the birds here, lots of species coexist because each one occupies a different niche.

  5. How sad. Crows are monogamous and live in extended families, and once mated do not mate again. So a crow widow or widower is now sad and alone out there.
    Seriously. There was a wonderful article about this in the New Yorker a few years ago. These are smart birds who grieve the loss of their mates.

  6. I'm organizing a candle light vigil tonight Laura if you want to join me. I'll be making a little shrine too with some of my food waste.

  7. For the record, a group of crows is collectively referred to as a “murder.” Not nitpicking, you just don't often get the chance to use it.

  8. A couple years ago I had a crow dive bomb me and peck me in the head. I retaliated with a low power pellet gun, nothing strong enough to really hurt or kill the crow, but enough for them to feel it. The next morning I'm working against a deadline on the computer and BANG! there goes the power and one fried crow on the sidewalk.
    BTW, that's where the avatar came from. (edit: I guess my dead crow avatar only shows up in the forum posts, not comments)

  9. Most birds dive at people during nesting season, don't they? I've had many varieties dive at me until I was out of the area of their nests. Birds don't like me much, anyway.
    I agree crows are the worst, though.

  10. it is absolutley appaling to read these comments. you should be aschamed of yourselfs to call for the extermination of living creatures, beutifal creatures who are kind enough to share with us the city we call our home. i had to choke back the tears of rage when i read about the commentor with the slingshot because he was woken up to early by a birds caw. this is disgusting behavior by violent people and i for one am embarrassed to live in your neighborhoood! i believe it was ibrahim accauri who said it is time we educate ourselves on what is right not to educate ourselves on what is right at the time.

  11. Every morning crows are waiting for me – to see what they can take. I had my purse on top of my car and went to get something – turn around and they were in my purse. Stole food off my table while I was barbequeing. My cat will only eat outside so have to stand guard while he's eating so they don't take his food. I have a brand new solar water fountain & so far have found a paper plate in it, a can, small bag of cookies from somewhere ripped open & this mucks up my fountain. There's a bird bath not more than a foot away – that they don't go to to wash their food or take a bath – just the solar one. I would love to know of a non-lethal way to get them to leave.

  12. I've been waiting 9 years to find a dead crow to hang in my tree. I heard those smart buggers will see it and never come back, fearing the same fate. I'd far prefer to use an already-dead crow so if anyone knows where I can get one…

  13. Although I agree with your sentiment, you should not be surprised to see that others disagree with you, and it is certainly nothing to cry about. One thing to keep in mind is that when a human neighbor is loud in the morning one can ask him or her to quite down; this does not work with crows, so what should one do? Also, I am a bit appalled by your spelling and grammar.

  14. Betsy, you're an idiot. You think that this huge crow population was here before us? Crows are here BECAUSE of us. They feed off our our garbage. They are scavengers who wouldn't have a pot to piss in if it weren't for us.

  15. I live in West Seattle and we have a huge crow population in our trees. I have a fear of birds in general, so I don't really go out in the yard. They do nothing but bully others (people, squirrels, cats) and raise a ruckus. We read that hanging cds in the trees will deter them – they don't like the shiny. We got a few up in the tree and so far, so good. They don't seem to be out there as much now. However, I found a dead fledging in the garden last week, so maybe they have no reason to stay around anymore.

    BTW – have you heard they remember faces? UW did a study. I used to yell at them. I don't do that anymore.

  16. I agree that insulting words are uncalled for here. However, it is worth noting that Betsy effectively said the same thing with her condescending words of 'you should be ashamed of yourselves' and 'disgusting behavior by violent people.' These statements might be received as equally – if not more- offensive than Betsy may have received being called an idiot.

    Just because the topic is 'only' about crows, rather than civil rights or some other human cause, it is still inappropriate to be rude, sterotype or sling insults at others. Betsy has a right to be embarrassed about her neighbors, but I can't imagine her neighbors are not feeling the same about her, considering how un-neighborly her public comments are.

  17. My cat is 15 years old, partially deaf and NO teeth. So the only thing he could do is gum them! But must admit one day he was in the yard almost asleep by his bowl of food, up comes a crow & my cat did shoo it away. But the crow almost knew no threat.

  18. Really? That's a good idea if it works. I don't want to harm the crows, but I get a little tired of getting swooped at by them.
    And if they remember faces it might explain why the swoop at some people more than others.

  19. Ballard crows are WAY too organized for my taste. They're at the top of my list for the next intelligent species to take over the planet after humans are done. On the other hand, it's actually pretty interesting to watch their social interactions–they seem to have very distinctly defined small family and extended family/clan groups. Part of the crow weirdness this time of year is a result of the nestlings learning to fly. We get a combination of adults aggressively defending their offspring, and offspring who are still unlearned in the crow ways. I assume the East Ballard sparkler was a Darwinized youngster.

  20. Actually, not a good call. In the city, too many windows/cars/people at the end of the ballistic arc. Basically, anything that will actually harm the target is going to be either illegal or at least incredibly stupid. If you want to scare them away, though, I recommend shooting foam Nerf darts using a blowgun made from 1/2 inch PVC pipe. It has surprising range and accuracy. The crows will remember you, though, so be forewarned. These days I'm trying to make friends with them because it's clear they aren't going away permanently.

  21. I should have directed my comment to all of the nasty posters. The one I quoted was just too blatant to let stand. My apologies – I should have made my intent clearer.

  22. I came across this website by trying to see if slingshots would kill crows. How did the slingshot thing work out? I just ordered one of Amazon for crows and… rabbits gasp! Poor little thumper is going to meet his maker. I wouldn't bother them if those two vermin (and yes they are vermin) didn't rip my garden to shreds every year AND the rabbits even chewed through the wiring in my car and destroyed it. You only cry over crows and “bunnies” when you live in the city and don't have to deal with reality.

  23. Here's an article that might be interesting:

    Except for the handful of recipes for preparing crow, why in this day of rampant animal rights fanaticism, should we continue to hunt and kill an animal that has no real monetary value? The reason is that the crow has and continues to exhibit behavior that ranges from simply annoying to highly destructive. In agricultural areas, beit the pecan plantations of the south or the cornfields of the mid-west, crows continue to account for extensive crop damage, including the nasty habit of pulling up sprouting grain in the spring. Western crows have the worst reputation for crop damage, especially because of their habit of congregating by the thousands to feed on cultivated fruits and nuts. Often, they end the day by raiding a nearby watermelon field in order to save a trip to a distant watering place. Under such conditions, total crop loss can occur.
    Where their ranges overlap, crows severely impact the annual waterfowl populations. When the hens begin laying, crows break open and eat the eggs. Later they will return and devour the fledglings. In the 40's a biological survey was conducted that really shows the damage crows can cause to the waterfowl in the Canadian “Duck Factory”. It was shown that crows in close proximity to duck nesting areas took an average of 110 to 120 eggs or fledglings per crow per year, approximately 20,000,000 ducks. During the same year, sportsman only took 11,000,000 ducks. A common slogan of the time was “Kill a crow, Save a duck”. At a time when waterfowl seasons are being dramatically reduced and even canceled, the survival rate of waterfowl at their breeding grounds is paramount. Shooting crows can make a real difference. Crows also take a heavy toll on upland game birds, including direct responsibility for at least 4 1/2 percent nest depredation on ruffed grouse and in California crows have been implicated in the endangerment of the Mojave desert tortoise. They also prey on small mammals such as rabbits and squirrels and have been known to kill prey as large as newborn lambs.

    In the past twenty years, there has been a crow populationexplosion in the suburban areas around the country, especially the East. It is now common to awaken to the call of crows in many suburban backyards where only a few years ago, it was somewhat rare. In fact, many large roosts are forming within the beltways of major cities. Besides the nuisance factor of torn open trash bags and backyard droppings, the effect on the local songbird populations is incalculable.

    More recently, crows have been identified as a carrier of the West Nile Virus, an encephalitis type virus that has killed at least 155 people to date. Crows have been found to be prime carriers of the mosquito borne disease because of their highly sensitive nature to the virus and their roosting habits. Blood tests are currently being conducted throughout the East (see CROW BUSTERS Cooperates with West Nile Virus Research), but this disease will continue to be a concern due to the crow's migratory nature.

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