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City Shoots Green Laser Beams To Shoo Away Growing Flock Of Crows In Sunnyvale

SUNNYVALE (KPIX) -- A collection of crows is called a murder. In Sunnyvale, it's more like a mega-murder of crows that has gotten a little too friendly with Plaza del Sol, turning the city center into a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's movie,'The Birds.'

The problems began during the pandemic with fewer people in office parks.

"We've had lots of crows in our community for years, but in the past two years, the numbers have just kept increasing and increasing," said Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein.

With the flying flock comes the falling drops, lots of them.

"If there's a tree where there's been a lot of them, you'll notice it," said neighbor Kamyab Mashian.

The daily cleanup was getting expensive, so Mayor Klein chatted with a friend and came up with a solution that was less Hitchcock and more Dr. Evil - a green laser pointer.

City employees are taking great pains not to interfere with any air traffic from nearby Mineta San Jose - as pointing a laser at a pilot is a federal offense. Other U.S. cities have tried the same thing with limited success.

"We don't want to get rid of all the crows, we just don't want all of them congregating in one location," said Mayor Klein.

There are also hanging effigies of crows, which is perhaps the original scarecrow, to send the message this place isn't safe for the birds.

Meanwhile, neighbor Shibani Kavuluru suggests, "We should just have it as Sunnyvale's mascot and really lean into it."

This is a three week pilot program to see if the crows get the flock out.

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