Sonic cannon to be used again on birds perching on North Adams power substation


NORTH ADAMS — Alfred Hitchcock might have been amused, but National Grid is not.

The crows have returned to the Brown Street substation, so the utility company is planning to redeploy its propane cannon in another attempt to scare off the hundreds of birds that have been roosting there.

"Apparently, we are a highly desirable location and all the separate large flocks that are seen around the city join together and roost here," said Joanne DeRose of National Grid in a Facebook post. "When we attempted the sonic cannon a few weeks ago, very few crows were on property, so we stopped our efforts after two days. This morning (Wednesday), there were hundreds of crows on the property. Therefore, we will be employing the sonic cannon again on Friday."

Utility spokesman Robert Kievra said the blast will be set off Friday afternoon.

"Based on the crow reaction, we may need to do this through the weekend," DeRose added. "For those of you who heard it last time, it sounds like a shotgun blast."


Kievra noted that another plan to fire off the cannon at 5 a.m. Friday was dropped.

"The hope is for the sound to create a negative experience for the flock, which prompts them to relocate," he said. "We remain hopeful for a successful outcome but will explore additional avenues if these efforts prove unsuccessful."

Kievra had noted that the crows are creating a hazardous situation with the potential for outages in the substation located at that site.

Anyone with questions can contact the National Grid customer service center at 800-322-3223.

Scott Stafford can be reached at or 413-629-4517.


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