I read your articles with great interest and find them very informative and helpful. We have combined much of the information into the last couple of years winter maintenance programmes with considerable success, so please keen them coming. However, it’s now that we need your help and advice more than ever on how to eliminate the damage being done to our green by a family of crows.
Our club “West Wimbledon Bowling Club” is located in a residential area of Raynes Park in Surrey, not far from Wimbledon Common. Like most clubs over the last 10 years membership has decreased and we now function on a limit financial budget, hence we, or at least four of our member have taken over 75% of our green mamagement, under the watchful eye of a consultant.
Our green has been fully enclosed with an electric fence for the last 20+ years, which was installed to detered the urban foxes and we had been damage free upto about 3 years ago when the crows arrived.
Over the last 3 years we have been effected by a family of about 6 crows damaging our green. Initially the damage began with small holes appearing randomly all over the green, these we managed on a day to day basis with top dressing and seed and though inconivent and annoying we were able to limit the damage.
Over the last two winters and during last summer the crow damage has become considerably worst all over the green, which leeds us to beleive that they are not looking for food. In is not uncommon for holes of 8″ to10″ in dia and 1″ deep to appear in the green overnight with the turf scattered all around, both summer and winter.
Frequently in the mornings we find food on the green where the crows have been scavenging and left bits of bone, half eaten fruit and even twigs stripped of their bark on the green, accompaned by the dreaded holes.
I know the first line of thought could be Leather Jackets, however the green is treated 3 times a year, autumn, spring and summer with Lorsbant, a broard-spectrum insecticide and we regually check for insect larve by covering large areas of the green with clear plastic to intice anything to the surface.
Worms are kept under control on a regular basis.
As the damage is wide spread and in large sections all over the green it again leads us to beleive that it is not insect larve or food they are looking for. We feel we are dealing with a family of crow vandles and we have no idea how to handle them.
Currently we have tried for protection reflectors, CD’s, windmills, bottles filled with water, tapes & plastic bags on poles, hanging basket cages to protect newly seeded areas (the crows even move them if the are not secured). Although partly successful the crows just move to another part of the green that is not protected.
As one of the four of the team looking after the green it is now becoming sole destorying. The condition of the green is good, but for the crow damage.
In all your experience have you come across this problem before? How would you deal with the problem and what would your recommendations be?