Sound effects, pyrotechnics used to drive crows from Vanderbilt’s campus


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Vanderbilt University is using sound effects and pyrotechnics in an effort to drive roosting birds from campus.

Thousands of crows return every winter to roost in the trees on the edge of Vanderbilt’s campus, near West End and 21st Avenue.

While there, the birds leave behind a huge mess on cars, sidewalks and even people.
Students can’t help but notice the birds since they arrived last month.

“It’s very ominous,” said student Jack Gibson. “I think of Alfred Hitchcock and ‘The Birds,’ and getting attacked by birds.”

University employees used sound cannons, distress calls and flares to frighten the birds away as the sun set Tuesday evening.

The process will continue every night for about 10 weeks.

The birds are attracted to Vanderbilt because of the large number of magnolia trees on campus. The trees keep their leaves and berries throughout the winter, creating an inviting roosting area for starlings, blackbirds and crows.

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