Watch CBS News

'Definitely A Nuisance': Falconers Called In To Handle Sacramento's Crow Conundrum

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- A crow conundrum is causing quite a mess in downtown Sacramento.

The wild birds take over at night. It's a sight to see as thousands swarm several blocks around Sacramento City Hall, but some people say they're tired of dodging droppings — and we're talking lots of droppings.

"You've just got to dodge it," said Brian Bernal.

"You just walk on and you hope that it's below you and not above," said Michael Medvin.

Like clockwork, when the sun goes down, the crows come out.

"You see all the birds just pooping everywhere, all over the meters. They're everywhere," said Minister Vanessa Johnson.

"They pecked my hair," said Robin Williams. "I thought maybe nesting. I know I'm not getting thin back there. I hope not."

"They're really bad down here. Something needs to be done about it quickly," said Johnson.

But can something be done about thousands of wild birds? CBS13 went to the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, discovering DSP actually hired skilled falconers in 2019 to move the crows out of downtown safely.

"We're bringing in trained predators, which are hawks and falcons, to scare the crows out of a predetermined area in downtown Sacramento," said Adam Baz.

Baz is a falconer with Integrated Avian Solutions. Three to four nights a week, they guide the birds to nearby parks. A before and after photo shows how it keeps the sidewalks clean, which is something that otherwise is pretty pricey. Pressure washing costs at least $150,000 a year.  It's something paid for in-part by downtown property owners. Afterall, you can't miss the droppings downtown.

"They're definitely a nuisance and they can contain bacteria and diseases, so it is best to use falconry to push the crows out of the downtown area," Baz told CBS13.

They're solving a crow conundrum so the droppings don't end up on you.

"It doesn't bother me very much, no. It's not my living room, you know? It's outside," said Medvin.

"I've been pooped on many times. I'm used to it," said Johnson.

Right now the falconers focus on 36 blocks where the crows congregate the most, including along J, K and L Streets.  They then move the birds away from outdoor dining and over to Capitol Park and Cesar Chavez Park.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.