Dump ravens may be shot

SANDPOINT — A handful of ravens may nevermore plague Bonner County’s garbage collection site in Colburn.

The county is securing a permit from the Idaho Department of Fish & Game to shoot some of the crafty corvids to discourage them from raiding the site and strewing trash about.

A couple of the luckless birds may be put on display as a warning to the survivors, a message that apparently is not lost on ravens, which are renowned for their intelligence.

Dead ravens brought in for disposal have been displayed in the past, which has deterred other ravens from stalking the site, said Solid Waste Director Leslie Marshall.

“When we hang one up in the trees they don’t come around. It’s like they get it, that it’s not somewhere to go,” Marshall said.

Marshall said there is an unusually high number of ravens at the Colburn site this year. They don’t appear to causing problems at other waste-collection sites elsewhere in the county.

The permit would allow up to 10 birds to be shot if need be, although Marshall said it’s doubtful that many birds would need to be dispatched in order to get the message across to the ravens.

Moreover, a foreman advised Marshall that he spotted fewer ravens at Colburn earlier this week.

“We’re not going to kill them if they appear to be going away,” Marshall said.

The plan is stirring some outrage in the community, but neither Marshall nor county Commissioner Mike Nielsen have fielded any complaints yet.

Along with being revered for their resourcefulness and playfulness, ravens have a rich tradition in mythology, folklore and art. They have also appeared in literary works of William Shakespeare, Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe.

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