City partners with Ducks Unlimited in road maintenance

a close up of a crow with a small camera on its neck
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 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Prince George BC - The City of Prince George has partnered with the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited to improve monitoring of road conditions. Local ducks, crows and a few test pigeons will be outfitted with small cameras on their legs to capture images of the road conditions all year round. 

The birds are on a retainer salary of $250,000 per year, with bonus worms and other tasty treats offered as incentive for good work.

Bill Duckhorn, roads manager, stated, "We looked into drones to capture images but they were just too expensive and then I was approached by a local birder with a solution that is working our really well. The cameras even out on the birds so I can see the winter conditions of our roads and even do pothole patrol."

Birdie Phalcon, bird expert, stated, " I am delighted to work with the City on this project. My birds have been trained to go out and survey an area and circle back to the roof of City Hall where they are enjoying their new home. They can get very low to the ground so the visuals are excellent. We've only had a few instances of the birds dropping down to snack on food but they come right back."

Mayor Simon Yu said the new program is really something to crow about. “We are leading the way on innovation here with this program. People need to stop chirping about road conditions – look at what we’re doing! We are not winging it here, we’re clawing our way to the top.”

The new program, dubbed ‘Claw Patrol’ will be tested for one year and then a decision will be made if it becomes a permanent program on April 1, 2025, this date also happens to be April Fool’s Day!

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Media contact:

Claire Thwaites, senior communications advisor
Mobile: 778-349-1386
Email: media@princegeorge.ca