Nampa is having a battle with the crows.
Over the last few weeks, hundreds of the birds have flocked in trees and on buildings downtown.
Small business owners are concerned about the impact they are having on customers.
The crows have left quite the mess. There is bird waste all over the sidewalk, on benches and in the trees. You really just can’t avoid it.
And it’s become a common scene throughout downtown Nampa.
The city and police department worked over the weekend to chase the birds off. And it appears to have worked, at least temporarily. We did not see any crows today, but they sure did leave their mark.
Business owners say this is becoming a health issue. In some areas the waste is so concentrated, you end up stepping in it and can drag it into a store front. Another is the distraction and the annoyance that could lead to less business.
“There is a lot of poop. On cars, on the roads, on people. We’ve had people that come in that get hit and have to use the restroom,” said Michael Martin, owner of Infinite Heroes Games.
Martin has been in business for five years in downtown Nampa and says he has never seen anything quite like this.
"Anything that is distracting customers from being able to get to your place is. A bad thing,” Martin said.
The masses of crows have become such an issue the city is working to find ways to get them to leave. One effort they took over the weekend, allowing police officers to shoot the birds with pellet guns.
So from Thursday through Sunday, after 9 p.m., Nampa police officers shot crows with pellet guns between calls.
"We did it after 9 o’clock at night when there was really nobody out and about they did it in between calls for service, so our service level stayed the same," said Nampa Police Chief Joe Huff.
Huff says officers shot down around 55 crows, a small dent in the issue. They’ve been placed on the buildings out of sight to the public. Apparently, a dead crow deters live crows from the area. No word on how long those will be there.
"It made a short term difference. They're not in the downtown area right now," said Huff. “The city needs to find, you know, a long-term solution."
Again, this is just a temporary fix. The city is working with Caldwell on a long-term solution to the problem. A few years ago, Caldwell had a similar problem with pesky crows.