Hundreds of crows make noise, mess outside downtown building

Hundreds of crows make noise, mess outside downtown building

PORTLAND, Ore. – People walking in Downtown Portland early in the morning sport hats and umbrellas for protection.

And it’s not just protection from rain.

Hundreds of crows have taken up residence in the trees around the Standard Insurance Center building, next to the Multnomah County Courthouse.

“The noise, and then you look up and you just see the trees, loaded with them,” said Patty Somdalen.

The birds showed up a few weeks ago. People who work at Standard Insurance said they’ve never seen anything like it.

“They’re all over the place. They’re like across the street so you can’t go over there,” said Alan Smith. “Because there’s still poop on the sidewalk and I just don’t want to get it on my shoes.”

It’s hard not to step in the white stuff around the building. Even our KATU News crews fell victim to the crows.

But the threat goes away once the workday starts. It’s quiet. Not a bird in sight.

The National Audubon Society says it’s normal for urban crows to gather in huge groups to gather to sleep during the winter. They leave to find food during the day.

Early birds heading to work will have to take cover during the next few months.

“When I first saw it, I thought of Hitchcock and ‘The Birds’,” said John Atkins.

We heard about this story from a KATU news tip. If you have a story for us, send an email to