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Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Santa Monica Crows A Troubling Detriment To Other Birds: Letter To The Editor

Posted Dec. 15, 2012, 1:13 am

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

As a native New Englander, I’ve always loved California. I journeyed to San Francisco in early 1967 after college and stayed for four scintillating, life-changing years. From the early 70’s through today, I’ve spent my summers on Cape Cod and winters in warmer climes, Hawaii, Arizona, Bali, and now Southern California, since 2010. As an outdoorsman and bird lover, living year round in temperate zones has enabled me to see and hear a variety of song- birds on a daily basis.

I think it was last winter when I first became aware that there were far less bird calls in my Santa Monica neighborhood (Sunset) like the melodious mockingbird, and far too many crows. And this fall, when I returned again from Cape Cod, I was stunned by the utter preponderance of crows in this region, and the concomitant absence of other songbirds.

Every morning, the pre dawn moments usher in an ugly cacophony of cawing from thousands of these predators, and the same jolting ritual repeats in the early minutes of dusk. By nightfall all is quiet but meanwhile where are the other birds?

On Cape Cod’s outer beaches, part of the national Seashore since JFK dedicated them to this protected status in the early 60’s, a disturbing number of Piping Plover (endangered sea bird) eggs have been raided over the last few years by an increasingly mercurial crow population; so much so that executives of the National Seashore, The Audubon Society, leading naturalists, and birders, have called for a major culling of the crow population.

I don’t profess to be an authority on these matters but, as a lover of nature, I can’t help think that the intrinsic qualities of the crow (highly intelligent, physically adroit, predatorily oriented, and survival prone) have embellished its roll as a dominating species in this area as well as others, to the troubling detriment of other birds, and that we should seriously consider measures immediately to cull their numbers.

As a bird lover I can’t think of anything better to do.

Brian Hart

Santa Monica

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Dec. 15, 2012, 4:47:27 am

Susan said...

Well said. A Dove built a nest on my 3rd story balcony and when the eggs hatched they were eaten by the Crows. The other birds have almost disappeared.

Dec. 16, 2012, 4:28:16 am

Greg said...

I agree with the letter. There used to be flocks of sparrow and house finch. Now I only occasionally see one or two small birds. There's less mockingbirds and scrub jays as well. But the city and county aren't likely to cull because the animal rights groups will block it.

Dec. 19, 2012, 7:49:53 am

Sandy LaBarbera said...

I have to agree.The crows have seemed to take over the city of Santa Monica!With all the huge ficas trees planted in Santa Monica it makes the perfect place for them to roost in.Talk to the residents on 24th and oak.They are a huge problem there.

Apr. 8, 2013, 10:52:39 am

Anne Witzgall said...

Dear Editor, I only can support Brian Hart's comment on the crows. We live on 21st street in Santa Monica and the whole block (22nd street included) is effected. As the city got rid of other ficus trees in some areas I think that more crows are attracted to nest in our neighborhood trees which have the densest treetops. Fruit trees are their food source. People start to shoot on the crows because they don't know how to get rid of these birds anymore. I called the policed department the other day but they said that they can't do anything about that problem. I guess that the only way how we can address this issue is that we start an initiative against crows. I can enjoy these intelligent birds when they don't dominate our streets and pollute our houses, sidewalks and cars with their poop not to mention the noise they make early in the morning or even at night. It would be such an enrichment to have the singing birds back in the area. The city should act now . Anne Wille Santa Monica

Dec. 20, 2013, 2:31:04 pm

Cortland said...

Here on 3rd and Idaho the crows are an incredible problem. What can we do about this? Has this been discussed with city council?

Nov. 22, 2014, 3:26:15 pm

Shiva said...

I moved back to Santa Monica last year

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