Crows roosting again on Vanderbilt campus


A murder of crows has returned to roost on the campus of Vanderbilt University in West Nashville.

The crows show up around dusk every evening to sleep in the trees near West End and 21st Avenue South, right outside of Vanderbilt’s new dorms.

They tend to make a lot of noise, and students who live in the new Warren and Moore colleges will be hearing the crows’ wake-up calls each morning before sunrise.

In what could be considered ominous timing, the crows showed up just in time for finals week.

“And I think this is a very good symbol of finals week: death,” said Vanderbilt student Spencer Rugen. “We’re not sleeping at all. And I think they arrived at an appropriate time.”

The crows also leave behind a huge mess in the form of droppings.

Mike Raab, who manages the Qdoba restaurant across the street from campus, says his car has been taking the brunt of the assault.

“When you leave, you can hear the stuff hitting the ground,” Raab said. “I’d just highly suggest that when people leave, they go wash their car. Because I found out the hard way bird crap messes up car paint.”

Jack Menisch at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere said crows are highly intelligent and aren’t scared off easily.

Their group size also tends to grow over time.

“They have their young come back year after year to help raise the new babies,” said Menisch. “They will also not even leave an injured crow behind. They want to try and save their flock mates. And that’s why their flocks get so huge. Year after year they grow with extended family members.”

Crows tend to stay in the same place to roost until mating season begins. They could stick around Vanderbilt University until sometime in early 2015.

In the past, Vanderbilt has used sound cannons and other methods to try and disrupt the roosting patterns. University officials say if anything is done this time, it will be after students leave for winter break this weekend.

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