Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:24 PM

Look Out Below!

If you’re anything like me, then parking at Community Regional Medical Center has become somewhat of a chess match over the past years.  Not only are you calculating each move strategically, but parking under any tree between the hours of 6:30 pm and 5:00 am is vehicle suicide.  Countless times have I walked to my vehicle after my shift with fingers crossed that my freshly washed car has not become another casualty of war - an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of thousands of cawing-winged-assailants.  Dramatic much?  Ok, maybe just a little. But on a serious note, I haven’t had a car wash last more than 24 hours in who knows how long. 

So one day after staggering to my vehicle after a long day like a scene from an episode of The Walking Dead, and reaching my poo covered chariot.  I thought to myself what brings them here every year?  Is it to put a dent in my pocket and give car washes all of my money?  How much have they paid you crow king?  How many crackers will it take to match their offer?  So after my state of panic I decided to consult the “Google” gods on what might bring Crow king and his minions here to turn my poor car into a Jackson Pollock piece.

 
Roost:

Noun:

  1. A perch upon which birds or fowls rest at night
  2. A large cage, house, or place for birds or fowls to roost in
  3. A place for sitting, resting, or lodging
 
Verb:
  1. To sit or rest on a roost, perch, etc.
  2. To settle or stay especially for the night

After a little bit of research my perception of Crow King and his followers had changed in an instant.  Instead of being a hired hand by car washes to drive up business, I understood their actions.  Crows are actually very similar to human beings, and are highly intelligent.  Per one article I read crows have cognitive abilities that reach that of an ape.  Giving them the ability to count and solve problems.  As far as roosting goes, crows use it as a method of protection for their flock.  The plausible explanation for our community of CRMC crows is just that.  There are no major threats or predators for the crows, which leads them here every winter.  Nature at its finest, and you didn’t even have to tune in to an episode on the National Geographic channel to learn it.

So what can we do besides marvel in one of Mother Natures’ wonders you ask?  Unfortunately not much. Crows are protected to a degree under The Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  What we can do though is attempt to park in some less targeted areas. 
  • The Employee parking garage. (Lot 15)
  • Areas free from trees and building overhang (lot 9, 10, 16, 18, and 20)
  • o Keep in mind some of these may require a small walk, so possibly coming a tad earlier is a good idea.
  • A UC Davis study conducted in 2000 found that 24 cities in the central valley, and southern California areas deal with large flocks of crows.
  • Some cities have attempted to use different methods such as speakers or stationary faux owls to scare off crows, but it generally is a failed attempt. (As stated above this is one intelligent bird.
On a lighter note let’s not let a little mess ruin our day.  Sometimes the sun hides behind the clouds, rain pours, dirt turns to mud, and birds poop.  Just keep the purple wipes, and hand sanitizer close by.

For more facts on King Crow check here: Ryan Henry Jackson
Security Officer 2 - Community Regional Medical Center
Marketing Communications Intern - Community Medical Centers