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Master of Scaremonies
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Dead crows scare away living crows
1 hour, 33 minutes ago

Dead crows make good scarecrows. It's a method Cedar Rapids park officials say works wonders in their "crow coffin" program, which places dead crows on trees to detract thousands of living crows from perching.

During winter months, crows congregate at Greene Square Park as it gleans warmth from nearby city buildings and asphalt. They eventually move on but leave plenty of droppings behind.

The crow coffin was born in 1991, when former city veterinarian Russell Anthony heard from a hunter that crows avoided a tree with a dead crow. He wired two dead crows - one face up and one face down - on a board to be placed high up in trees.

At Greene Square Park, city crews put the dead birds in place this week. The hordes of living crows have since vanished, Parks Director Dave Kramer said.

The coffins were on hiatus the last four years, after former parks commissioner Wade Wagner discontinued the practice during his tenure. Last January, however, Kramer brought back the practice, and today the city has 13 boards in place.

Kramer said the coffins are replaced often to combat odor and will be in use until spring.


Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/
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