Keep crows off of chimney caps

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fposte
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Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by fposte » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:37 pm

I have two chimneys, one unused one for the furnace and one for the fireplace. They both have metal chimney caps. They're higher than the ridge on my second-story house.

And suddenly the neighborhood crows have decided that's a great place to perch, and they're particularly amused by banging on the caps to make a lovely metallic sound like somebody beating garbage can lids together overhead. I'm trying to figure out what's a workable intervention. Things that would require me to be on the spot with an action, like shooting something either harmless or harmful, aren't strong candidates (by the time I haul myself down the stairs and out front before dawn they're gone and I have no aim anyway). I've read one internet mention that suggests this might be a seasonal territorial/mating-related phenomenon (they must be pretty fearless birds to be getting it on in a Midwestern February) and that it should pass, but in my experience crows seem to like to stay in a hangout once they've found it.

So has anybody had any similar experience? Is there a pigeon-spike-type chimney cap around? A Crow-B-Gon spray?

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:42 pm

Why not just attach some bird spike strips to the chimney caps with construction adhesive?
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by ThriftyPhD » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:50 pm

Release a helium balloon strapped to a cat up the chimney next time the banging starts.

fposte
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by fposte » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:54 pm

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:50 pm
Release a helium balloon strapped to a cat up the chimney next time the banging starts.
Wouldn't I just have to follow that up with a dog strapped to a bigger helium balloon to catch the cat? Plus my chimney's not that big and I might bet on the crows.

I didn't realize bird-spike strips were so simple to obtain. I might have to strap a handyguy to a helium balloon to get them up there, but I'll make inquiries.

sport
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by sport » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:56 pm

If you can arrange to have some ammonia fumes go up the chimney, it would be less pleasant up there. Ammonia is not flammable, and it will not harm the birds. However, I would think they would want to move away from it.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:57 pm

fposte wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:54 pm
I didn't realize bird-spike strips were so simple to obtain. I might have to strap a handyguy to a helium balloon to get them up there, but I'll make inquiries.
Go to Amazon.com or HomeDepot.com and type in "bird spike strips."
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

Crow Hunter
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by Crow Hunter » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:01 pm

I vote shoot them. :)

If you were closer, I would volunteer to do it for you.

There are certain areas that they will be attracted to this time of the year as they are looking for mates.

They are usually on high points overlooking/calling range of food or other gathering places. There is likely a rookery somewhere close to your home. Males will get up on these high points and call to females/drive off other males. It could also be an enterprising crow though that has decided he wants to use your chimney covers to break open nuts if you have any pecans/hickory/etc around your house.

Other than killing a few and making them avoid the area your only other choice would be to do something to keep them from landing there.

Crows are quite intelligent and cunning (which makes them a challenge/fun to hunt) and also quite a nuisance/damaging (which usually makes it easy to get permission) so your job will be cut out for you trying to figure out how to drive them away. Pretty much everything you try they will either figure out or bypass. I got started shooting them when I was a kid when the farmer neighbors had lots of trouble with them damaging pecan trees, pulling up corn plants and other miscellaneous destruction. They provided the shells if I would bring my gun and shoot them. I never had a need to buy my own ammo growing up. :D

You actually don't have to kill them, assuming you don't live in a non-firearm zone just go outside with a shotgun and shoot at them as they fly off. (Or even firecrackers while holding something they think is a gun) Assuming they have been hunted regularly (like the ones in my area 8-) ) they will begin to associate your location with being shot at and move on. Of course, you will have to deal with new crows that don't know the area over time but a few pot shots at them while they can see you will get them moving.

If you want to get rid of them permanently, a 12 ga with a 1 or 1 1/8 oz load of No. 6 or 7 1/2 shot and a Modified or Improved cylinder choke would do nicely. Make sure you lead them, they can fly fast. :twisted:

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by ThriftyPhD » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:14 pm

Hmm... You could put a scarecrow on the roof, but it might alarm some neighbors. Wouldn't want the jumper squad to show up at your house. Although maybe they would scare off the birds too?

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Raymond
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by Raymond » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:22 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:42 pm
Why not just attach some bird spike strips to the chimney caps with construction adhesive?
If that doesn't work, I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

It’s the only way to be sure.
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

Spirit Rider
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:22 pm

Crow Hunter wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:01 pm
I vote shoot them. :)
Not very safe or practical in a residential neighborhood.

Maximum range of bird shot is 200 - 250 yards. Most states have laws restricting the discharge of any firearm within 500 yards of a dwelling. Many municipalities go further in prohibiting the discharge within the entire municipality or at least the "compact" area. It is irresponsible to fire a shotgun into the air as you suggest unless you are in a rural area 500+ yards from another dwelling.

Now I might know someone who has a personal lifetime vendetta against crows. There might have been an incident where a crow dive bombed someone on a motorcycle going 60mph and literally let fly biological warfare with a direct hit to the eye and face. I hear it can be quite painful and disabling at that speed.

So this person when inundated by a murder of crows in his yard, legally purchased a suppressor. There is a reason why a group of crows is called a "murder", because corvidicide is exactly what is required. However, at a steep downward angle for safety.
Last edited by Spirit Rider on Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by Pajamas » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:25 pm


bhsince87
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by bhsince87 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:19 pm

I'd say wait it out. It really is crow mating season in your neck of the woods. It will pass in a few weeks.

If it's still a problem after that, put some spikes up there when the weather is nicer.
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daveydoo
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by daveydoo » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:42 pm

Crow Hunter wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:01 pm

If you want to get rid of them permanently, a 12 ga with a 1 or 1 1/8 oz load of No. 6 or 7 1/2 shot and a Modified or Improved cylinder choke would do nicely. Make sure you lead them, they can fly fast. :twisted:
That's pretty specific. :D

I know you don't want to shoot, but a $30 airsoft pistol (plastic BB's) could be perfect. I used to shoot these with my kids. I also remember lying in our tent at 4 AM fantasizing about shooting the campground crows. Yes, you would need to get out of the house. You wouldn't kill them and I'm sure you could hit them -- just keep shooting and adjust on the fly! When we had a similar issue at home (birds pecking on our wet cedar shakes), I eventually ran out with the kids' airsoft but they were gone. I guess I probably looked crazy. Eh.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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TxAg
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by TxAg » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:49 pm

I hate crows. I’m in the “shoot them” camp but realize that isn’t practical in a neighborhood. Maybe put a fake snake or a strobe light on your roof? Good luck.

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TxAg
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by TxAg » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:50 pm

Duplicate post
Last edited by TxAg on Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by ThriftyPhD » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:53 pm

Perhaps this is the excuse you've needed to get that drone you always wanted.

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El Greco
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by El Greco » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:38 pm

Unread post by Crow Hunter » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:01 pm

I vote shoot them. :)
What an amazing forum. Someone posts about a problem with crows and a member called "Crow Hunter" pops up with a solution!

TravelGeek
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:04 am

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:53 pm
Perhaps this is the excuse you've needed to get that drone you always wanted.
That would be my first attempt at convincing them to move on. I’d start with a cheap one; they are probably better “dog fighters”.

Be sure to report back with video.

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snackdog
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by snackdog » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:00 am

Is there any way to run a bit of electrical current up there? Just not too many volts.

azurekep
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by azurekep » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:43 am

Plastic owls are effective. They're on the roofs of many buildings.

I've seen them in action in our backyard. One look at the owl and the black birds (not sure if crows or ravens) flee in fright. Occasionally the wind will turn the owl around so that the scary eyes aren't visible. The birds may regain courage and come back. Just reposition the owl so it's re-facing the bird's approach and they'll disappear again.

We also have luminescent strips that we hang from a shrub. They look like mother-of-pearl and shimmer in the sunlight. I'm not sure what they're called but they're effective.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Get a falcon to patrol the chimney caps.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

daveydoo
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by daveydoo » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:44 pm

azurekep wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:43 am
Plastic owls are effective.
I don't think I could ever hit 'em with a plastic owl
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by ThriftyPhD » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:47 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:44 pm
azurekep wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:43 am
Plastic owls are effective.
I don't think I could ever hit 'em with a plastic owl
Not with that attitude you can't.

Load a plastic owl into one of these:

Image

Crow Hunter
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by Crow Hunter » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:17 pm

azurekep wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:43 am
Plastic owls are effective. They're on the roofs of many buildings.

I've seen them in action in our backyard. One look at the owl and the black birds (not sure if crows or ravens) flee in fright. Occasionally the wind will turn the owl around so that the scary eyes aren't visible. The birds may regain courage and come back. Just reposition the owl so it's re-facing the bird's approach and they'll disappear again.

We also have luminescent strips that we hang from a shrub. They look like mother-of-pearl and shimmer in the sunlight. I'm not sure what they're called but they're effective.
Depends on the time of year and the number of crows.

It can make it worse. ;)

I use an owl decoy at times as part of my decoy spread when hunting crows. If it is close to nesting season and there is a rookery nearby, they will mob it and that will be even worse.

It won't take long though for the crows to figure out it isn't real and they will start to ignore it. Although it will likely scare most of the songbirds out of the area.

The only way to convince the crows to leave is to make them think it is either too dangerous to stay around or there is a better place to roost elsewhere.

I know from many years of hunting them that there will always be places they want to be due to geography/food/time of year but after being shot at there, they will not return for a while (sometimes a whole season). No matter how nice a decoy spread or how convincingly I can sound like a hot sexy crow or a injured baby cottontail with a call. :P

Also, if they associate that with a person and they see a person go into the woods, they won't even come to a call in a different area.

When doing pest/vermin control, you need to kill them otherwise they will get "call shy" and won't come to calls but still be destructive. But in this case, fposte just wants them gone so if he can make them think they are being hunted and get them to be nervous/concerned about being on his chimney, they will likely move elsewhere where humans aren't around.

If he is living in an area where they are actively hunted, he could just go outside with a broom (or some other gun shaped object) and point it at them. If they have been shot at in the area, that sometimes will be enough to get them to move.

fposte
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by fposte » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:29 pm

I might stand in my front yard and pretend-shoot them with a broom just for the effect on my neighborhood reputation.

I suspect spikes are actually the most practical solution; the height of the chimney puts it out of my conceptual and literal reach, so I'll see who I can get to clamber up there and for how much.

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Pajamas
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by Pajamas » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:41 pm

fposte wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:29 pm
I might stand in my front yard and pretend-shoot them with a broom just for the effect on my neighborhood reputation.

I suspect spikes are actually the most practical solution; the height of the chimney puts it out of my conceptual and literal reach, so I'll see who I can get to clamber up there and for how much.
Crows are smart birds. They aren't going to leave unless they think they are in danger. Spikes just make it easier for them to build a nest.

https://www.google.com/search?q=bird+ne ... s&tbm=isch

fposte
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by fposte » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:54 pm

I'm less bothered by the nesting than the banging, which the spikes would seem to impede, but maybe I'll talk to the extension office here to see if they have suggestions.

btenny
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by btenny » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:59 pm

Get a pellet gun and shot at them. You do not have to hit the birds. Hitting the metal cover while they are setting there will scare them off. If you do this regularly for a while they will leave your spot alone. Birds are smart and leave areas where they have issue alone.

I had similar issue with geese on my boat dock and on my house roof. You would not believe how loud it sounds like when a 14 pound goose lands on your roof. Those suckers fly fast and land hard.
So we got a bucket of rocks and we throw them at the geese when they get on our stuff. It took 2 years and lots of misses and a few hits. But now the geese leave us alone. Or at least they mostly leave us alone. We do not use a pellet gun as our porch (where we throw the rocks from) is in view of tons of neighbors who probably would call the cops if we did that.

Good Luck.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:20 pm

fposte wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:54 pm
I'm less bothered by the nesting than the banging, which the spikes would seem to impede, but maybe I'll talk to the extension office here to see if they have suggestions.
Then one possibility is to replace the metal chimney caps with ceramic ones. You could also put a wooden perch above the sheet metal. Spikes are probably cheaper though.

DrG
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Re: Keep crows off of chimney caps

Post by DrG » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:42 pm

I had a woodpecker problem. Used a product called “irritape” and it worked like a charm.

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