Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines are all trying different tactics to get rid of the crows that flock to their downtown buildings. Iowa City uses balloons that resemble owls and reflective streamers to try to scare the crows away. In Des Moines they fire flares and other pyrotechnics at them. Cedar Rapids even goes as far as attaching dead crows to pieces of wood and hanging them from trees.
Washington doesn’t have the same level of problems with birds in winter. Although we do have many pigeons that land on the United Methodist Church, they aren’t numerous enough for the city to employ some of the severe methods that other cities have.
According to Greg Harris, a local Wildlife Biologist with the DNR, crows don’t make a full migration in winter. They only fly as far south as they need to, and stop when they get to an area with enough resources.
He says the crows just move down far enough for other crows usually, so there are Iowa crows in Missouri, and we have crows from Minnesota. Crows flock to large buildings which radiate heat. Because we have fewer large buildings in Washington, we don’t see the number of crows that other cities in Iowa have.