It looks like the Alta Vista crows have made the news, though the news isn't that great. Most residents find the crows to be a nuisance and are complaining to our ward councillor to do something about them.
"Alta Vista is plagued by the annoying black birds and residents want Councillor Peter Hume to do something about it."
"The abundance of crows is not welcomed by staff [of the Ottawa Hospital], who don’t like the crow poop all over the sidewalks and their cars, but there is a bigger problem. The crows can interfere with the medevac helicopter. When it lands or takes off, the roar of its rotors causes the crows to surge into the air, creating the possibility of damaging the helicopter or even disabling it."
Not surprisingly, some of the comments on the article struck me as a bit..um..uniformed. Now I don't profess to be anything close to an expert, but I couldn't help myself, I had to leave a comment in the hopes of balancing out the views somewhat and reminding people of how connected we are to the ecosystems we share with other living things, including crows. The crows are here in part because of the choices we humans make in how we live. Anyway, here's what I said:
"Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom From the Urban Wilderness by Lyanda Lynn Haupt is an excellent and well-researched book about crows, their behaviour and the role they play in urban environments. Increasing crow populations signal environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity, as crows become one of the few species resilient enough to survive habitat destruction and increasing amounts of toxic chemicals and pollution. They are also highly susceptible to avian flu, so large populations mean that the virus is not widespread in our area currently. Crows are an indicator of the health of our bioregion. Trying to eradicate them or move them along is an overly simplistic response to a situation that urbanisation and modern society has created. Whenever I see the crows (and I live in Alta Vista) I stop and think about what they are telling me about the environment I live in."
If there is any response to it, I'll probably be branded as a leftist, communist, hippie, tree hugging, crow lover. Whatevs.
Also, here's a couple of videos of the crows.