Hawks unleashed on crows in downtown Portland

Pilot project may be first of its kind in an urban place

A Harris's hawk in Portland, January 5, 2017 (Courtesy to KOIN)
A Harris's hawk in Portland, January 5, 2017 (Courtesy to KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — First there was the Poopmaster 6000. Now come the raptors.

The crows who leave their, uh, marks all over downtown Portland will now have to deal with hawks and falcons in a 4-week project that may be the first of its kind in an urban area.

Crows have a natural fear of raptors — like hawks and falcons — and the plan is to, in essence, scare the crows away from downtown.

A Harris's hawk in Portland, January 5, 2017 (Courtesy to KOIN)
A Harris’s hawk in Portland, January 5, 2017 (Courtesy to KOIN)

The pilot project is a team effort from Downtown Clean and Safe — who operates the Poopmaster 6000 — and Integrated Avian Solutions.

A Benson Bubbler targeted by crow droppings in downtown Portland, Jan. 7, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
A Benson Bubbler targeted by crow droppings in downtown Portland, Jan. 7, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

The crow droppings are ugly, uninviting and unsanitary. The sidewalks get cleaned often, but the crows just keep spoiling them.

Enter the bird hazing.

This method has been used in farming areas and landfills, but this month-long project in a 12-block area might be the first attempt in a city.

The hawks were released in front of the Standard Insurance Building Thursday evening.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.