Essex

Essex crow terrorises cars by destroying windscreen wipers

Carrion crow Image copyright Arterra
Image caption A crow has been attacking car windscreen wipers in Braintree

One crow is believed to be behind attacks which have seen 20 cars lose their rubber windscreen wiper blades.

The bird has been named George by vehicle owners who work at Greenfields Community Housing's headquarters in Braintree, Essex.

Staff have started covering their wipers with towels and blankets to thwart the cheeky corvid.

The RSPB said the bird could be reacting to its reflection or it could be attracted to the rubber itself.

Image caption Staff at Greenfields Community Housing have resorted to covering their cars with towels, sheets and blankets
Image caption Two crows, one of which may be George, overlooking the Greenfields car park

Colleagues at Greenfields inform each other when they see George on their cars and have even taken to putting plastic owls in the area to discourage the bird.

Member of staff Amanda Bhavani said the team was "winging" it with their solutions but did not want to resort to "getting rid" of George and were hoping for a peaceful way to discourage him.

She said: "He has attacked about 20 cars and, even though we have tried to shoo him away, he will come back as soon as your back is turned.

"We are looking for a long-term solution just to deter George. We want to keep him and his friends here, but this is becoming a bit of a problem."

Image caption Amanda Bhavani has taken measures to stop her car being attacked

Staff said replacing wiper blades was costing up to £40 a time and the bird was also damaging paintwork during the attacks, which started in November.

Tony Whitehead, RSPB spokesman, said while the behaviour was known it was not common, although the cause was a mystery.

"Nobody really knows why they do it but there are a couple of possible explanations," he said.

"One is that they are seeing their own reflection and getting quite angry about the 'other' bird and are doing some distraction behaviour and pecking at something soft, which happens to be the rubber.

"The other theory is they could be attracted to something in rubber. If it is the first people could try blocking the reflection with paper or something to see if that stops it

Image caption A warning sign at the car park makes no mention of crows

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites