Majestic birds can also be destructive when they land where people play, that's why the staff at Millard North High School has a unique way of keeping flocks off the field.
Fowls are no longer landing on the baseball field near 144th and Pacific because two snarling scarecrows are turning a double play. “Matt, our outdoor grounds guy, just had an idea,” said Millard North Activities Director Chad Zimmerman. “He said I got these coyotes at home, let’s try this to keep originally the raccoons, but we also knew we had a geese problem as well.”
The coyotes look real enough from sharp white teeth to a furry tail. Flocks of waterfowl are no longer dropping in or on the baseball field like they used to. “At times, we'd have hundreds of geese out in the outfield chewing up our grass roots and obviously pooping all over out there, making quite a mess."
This is a field of dreams for waterfowl because it’s close to home. The field is on the flight path of birds flocking to the Boys Town lake. The coyote decoys seem to be causing more flyovers than landings. “We've actually had none,” said Zimmerman. “We've had no raccoons or geese since we put the coyotes out here.”
The decoys will stay until players take the field in the spring, but despite their batting average against the birds, the coyotes won't become a school mascot. “Nope, we're still the Mustangs."
School staff had tried other ways to keep birds and varmints from damaging the sod without much success, but the coyote scarecrows have been a home run.