West Nile Virus and crows

Kelly Cassidy lostriver at completebbs.com
Thu Sep 19 11:00:42 PDT 2002


I don't know that you're in the minority, Brett.  I love crows, too.  They're one of my favorite birds.  (I like House Sparrows, too.)  I also dread the arrival of West Nile Virus, but only partly because of its direct effect on birds.  I cringe at the prospect of trucks driving through neighborhoods late at night spraying insecticide to try to control something that is probably now beyond control.  The insectivorous birds will get hammered, even if they aren't susceptible to the virus.

Still, as a scientist, I can't help but be curious about what will happen to bird species supposedly affected by crow predation.  For example, I've heard speculation that the decline in nighthawks in the Puget Sound may have been caused the rise of crows ( or maybe gulls, or maybe a combination of both).  .Of course, if nighthawks don't rebound following the demise of crows, you couldn't conclude that crows didn't have an impact on nighthawks.  Mosquito spraying might prevent nighthawks from taking advantage of fewer crows.

Kelly Cassidy
Pullman


----- Original Message ----- 
  From: B. A. Wolfe 
  To: lostriver at completebbs.com ; tweeters at u.washington.edu 
  Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 10:32 AM
  Subject: Re: A few fun things


  I for one am in the minority when I say that it will be a sad, sad day if crows become an endangered species due to this stupid virus. Crows are highly intelligent birds, fun to watch and ornery as heck. All of these things make them a joy to behold, and I will miss the occassional dive-bombing crow in June when that day comes. 

  Brett A. Wolfe     gismybabe at yahoo.com     Seattle, WA 

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