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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April, 2004, 19:32 GMT 20:32 UK
Car park crows strip wiper blades
Crow on roof
The crows have been stealing the rubber from wiper blades
Motorists are counting the cost of hungry crows at a York park and ride who swoop from the sky and strip the rubber from windscreen wiper blades.

Driver John Foster says he has lost six sets of wiper blades after the airborne raiders targeted his car.

A spokesman for the RSPB said the birds are attracted by the taste of a component in the rubber.

Motorists have been advised to coat their wipers with aluminium ammonium sulphate to keep the birds at bay.

Blades replaced

Mr Foster, of Green Hammerton, near York, said he was "absolutely staggered" when he found out the feathered fiends were behind the wiper mystery at Askham Bar park & ride in York.

He said it took several weeks, and a few sets of new wiper blades on his Ford Mondeo, before he realised what was happening.

"I got into the car one night and was driving home when I realised the rubber was coming off the passenger-side wiper.

"So I had the blades replaced and three weeks later the same thing happened again.

Oh yes, we know about it. It's crows and we've got them on video
Park & ride attendant
"I thought the blades were faulty and had them replaced, but after about three sets I thought...this is not on".

But the avian culprits had not escaped without leaving a trail of evidence.

"I was walking back to my car one evening and noticed four or so bits of rubber on the ground and I thought...this just isn't me is it?

"So I went to the park and ride office and the guy said, 'Oh yes, we know about it. It's crows and we've got them on video'."

Mr Foster, who works in the complaints department of insurance giant Norwich Union, said he was dumbfounded: "I was staggered. I just couldn't believe it, I thought it was vandals."

He has had to replace six sets of wiper blades at 16 per set - a total cost of 96.

"Apparently a man is coming with a trap to catch the crows," he added.


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