Greedy territorial vandals have been stripping parked cars of their back and front windscreen wiper blades, damaging the rubber windscreen seals, and viciously attacking the round rubber suction pad on SatNavs, even though they are on the inside of the glass.
At a cost of around £100 a time for replacements, Car Insurers are not having to pay out as most vehicle owners have a minimum of £100 excess on their policies, but for the Insured, it is a constant nightmare, expensive and a damn nuisance in inconvenience. Even if a claim was put in with the insurance companies, their premiums would rocket as only two or three claims can be made without penalty in respect of No Claims Bonus, even if it is protected (for an additional sum of course).
The culprits apparently are CROWS, and it was one of the main lead stories on the local radio this morning.
Even the experts are stumped, with theories ranging from attacking their reflection in the glass believing it to be an intruder to obtaining nesting materials, though strips of rubber have never been discovered in a crow’s nest. The professional Crow Behaviorist was more honest, and said that they had no idea for the reason behind it.
I didn’t catch where the vehicles were parked (private drives or roadsides), nor if it was just one particular area or a specific car manufacturer or colour, but it would appear that this is a frequent occurrence, and current deterrents aren’t working (I’ll come back to that in a minute).
However, the experts did say that crows are intelligent, and THAT I can agree on.
One of the first things we became familiar with in Lincolnshire was crow scarers.
They scared the hell out of Maggie who thought they were fireworks, but as they were on a regular rotation during the season, she soon became accustomed to them.
They were set up by the farmer to ‘fire’ three consecutive rounds every hour or so. The idea was that the sudden noise would scatter the crows helping themselves to the crops.
And it did.
For a few days.
On many occasions we heard the crow scarer go off and the crows just continued pecking without batting an eye, fluttering a wing, or even pausing in their banquet of young shoots.
Even moving the machine to a different location in the field, altering the time or number of blasts had little effect after a while as the crows realised there was no threat and scoffed their fill.
Now add a dog (not Maggie) into the equation. The crows would scatter alright but in its joy of the chase, the dog could churn up and destroy some of the valuable crop, which is why we were warned that farmers shot first and asked questions later.
Maggie had already shown little interest in sheep or cattle, but we trained her not to enter the fields, even if the gates were wide open and pheasant, partridge, rabbits or pigeons were giving her the finger and practically blowing raspberries at her.
Over the seasons, straw hatted Scarecrows could be seen frequently standing sentinel in the fields, streamers were attached to posts to flutter in the wind, and in desperation, a crow shoot was organised and dead bodies were attached to lines across the crop rows passing on a deadly message to the invaders.
The scarecrows had some nice ‘decorative’ blemishes on their attire, the streamers were totally ignored when they weren’t being sabotaged, and the dead crows were simply easy dinner for other opportunist wildlife.
One day we saw this magnificent bird of prey flying over one field, but couldn’t identify it. It swooped and dived, the crows not standing a chance in its erratic flight pattern. It was fascinating to watch, and extremely efficient in keeping them away.
Someone has made an awful lot of money from such a simple idea.
Our bird was in fact a kite-like cut out, attached by string to a long flexible pole set up in the field. The string wasn’t long enough to touch the ground, but when the wind blew, it lifted the ‘bird’ high in the air, casting a large threatening shadow beneath and totally lifelike in its design, colouring and movements as it soared in a windy sky.
Soon, these ‘bird kites’ were cropping up (excuse pun) everywhere locally, and the crows were licked, reverting back to being Nature’s dustbins eating carrion and road kills.
Now going back to our vehicle owners and their problems.
These were some of the suggestions/solutions to thwart the attackers
(my thoughts process) :
A scarecrow sitting in the front seat
(Men: stop thinking of your Mother In Law for the job).
A windscreen cover
(multi seasonal not just for the summer)
A full car cover
(protects it from bird poo too, so multifunctional).
Shiny streamers attached to the aerial
(if you haven’t got one of those 6 inch dinky coil things like ours).
I have a couple more:
Make slip over covers for the wipers
(thinking of our anti-tapping device ‘condoms’ for the zips on the boat).
Spray the rubber with something crows are unlikely to eat that won’t damage the car paintwork
(tabasco sauce in the wallpaper paste stopped the dog from stripping the walls when bored)
However, following the ‘KISS’ philosophy (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
If you have a garage, put the damn car away!
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