Cockroaches of the sky?


Do you love the thousands of cawing crows that blacken the skies near Saddleback College, or do you wish they would fly away?

Former Mission Viejo mayor Dave Leckness praises the California native birds but acknowledges his feelings are not shared by all. “My wife calls them the cockroaches of the sky, but I like them,” he said. “They have done me no harm and they are fun to watch.” What’s not to love about a crow? Crows are highly intelligent – one of the smartest in the animal kingdom.

Crows use tools to get what they want, and learn from each other. Crows also mate for life – something we could learn from them. Leckness, who represents Mission Viejo on the Orange County Vector Control Board, said Mission Viejo has one of the largest nesting grounds for crows in Orange County. One benefit of the crow population is its link to West Nile virus. It is deadly to crows and therefore can be used as an early indicator of the virus in the area. But don’t worry; you cannot catch the disease from crows – only from mosquitoes. But don’t keep crows as pets.


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