Saddleback Crows: Cockroaches of the Sky or Fun to Watch?

The crows of Saddleback Valley number in the thousands, and they serve as an early indicator of West Nile Virus.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
Do you love the thousands of cawing crows who blacken the skies near Saddleback College, or do you wish they'd fly off?

Councilman Dave Leckness praises the California native birds, but acknowledges his feelings aren't shared by all.

"My wife calls them the cockroaches of the sky, but I like them," he said. "They've done me no problems and they're kind of fun to watch."

Leckness shared his love for the black birds in the video above.

What's to love about a crow? The birds known as an ominous warning are some of the smartest in the animal kingdom, he said. They use tools to get what they want and take lessons from other crows. They also mate for life, he said.

Leckness, who represents Mission Viejo on the county vector control board, said they also warn us about West Nile Virus. The disease shows up early in crows and can warn humans of future infections. But you can't catch the disease from crows, he said.

Mission Viejo has one of the largest nesting grounds for crows in the canyons near Saddleback College. What do you think of the local birds? Tell us in the comments below.
Shripathi Kamath January 18, 2014 at 03:52 PM
Oh great, take the crows' side, why don't you?
Joe Promedio January 18, 2014 at 06:33 PM
I have lived next to Saddleback College since 1980 (Coronado Homes). I have watched the crow population grow every year. When will their population stop growing? Since they don't seem have enough predators to keep their growth under control, the answer is never. What are we going to do when the thousands turn into tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands? When they descend on our neighborhoods they are so loud you can hardly hear yourself think. Sooner or later we are going to have to do something.
apricot January 18, 2014 at 06:53 PM
Crow ,crow, Sharon Cody & Joe Promedio!! Unfortunately room temperature IQ can't be fixed! What is the next movie Leckness will come up on taxpayers money? A tsunami on the Mission Viejo LAKE? This is the year when its time for these guys to go out of office! All of them! We can't take crow anymore!! crow, crow! Vote them all out!


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