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Downtown Sacramento Partnership To Use Hawks To Rid Murders Of Crows On K Street

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It's all about the set up for scary movies in Hollywood.

Some of the trees in downtown Sacramento are where the "villain" in this story perch and then "strike" their victims.

"We have a lot of customers complaining that birds have pooped in their drinks and their food," Molly Lo, a bartender at Tiger Bar, said.

Amanda Gonzalez, another bartender at Tiger Bar, said, "They come from everywhere. It's honestly really scary. It's like that movie 'The Birds'."

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership said they tried aiming lights at and putting fake birds in the trees to get rid of the crows on K street between 7th and 13th streets, but neither method has worked.

"At night, it seems like a horror movie," Patrick McNogel, Sacramento resident, said. "They've hit my car before and when you're walking you never know if you're in the line of fire."

So, a different method will be used to rid the area of the crows and what they leave behind: Hawks.

"To put it bluntly, Jasper is going to be hazing or scaring away large numbers of crows in Downtown Sacramento," Adam Baz, a falconer with Integrated Avian Solution, said.

Jasper, a one-and-half-year-old Harris's hawk, and his handler Baz are just underway of the 60-day pilot program to show that this way can rid the murders of crows for good.

A spokesperson with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership told CBS13 the organization will have to weigh the cost of the program and the effectiveness of it. The partnership wasn't able to provide a cost estimate for the pilot program or how much it would cost if it were to be officially implemented.

Baz said he's confident that the plan will work and he and his hawk won't be eating crow.

"It really does work," Baz said. "And I feel people are paying attention, particularly to the droppings on the ground. They'll notice a severe reduction, if not a complete elimination, of all that bird poop."

Some say they're glad all options are being looked at to give this horror movie a happy ending.

"[The hawk] will be a cool sighting as long as it doesn't swoop down," Lo said.

"It's good for cities to think out of the box," McNogel said. "If it works, it sounds like it'll be minimal cost and that they should do it."

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership said they got the idea for this program from cities like Portland where it has been successful.

Baz said there will be three falconers working to get rid of the crows and their birds won't pose a danger to anyone.

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