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Crow hazing postponed until next week

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The crows will have to wait a week.

With the expected severe weather expected Wednesday and today, the city announced Wednesday afternoon that this week’s planned crow hazing activities have been postponed.

Wildlife biologists from Loomacres Wildlife Management, Warnerville, were going to start the crow maneuvers Wednesday night and continue them until Friday night.

“The snow will keep the crows away,” said Elliott B. Nelson, assistant to the city manager.

Mr. Nelson said the wildlife biologists would have been unable to safely and effectively use crow hazing equipment during high winds, nor could they have visually tracked the flock during heavy snowfall. Now, the Loomacres team will be on hand for the previously scheduled three nights of crow hazing next Wednesday through Friday.

Residents still are encouraged to provide the location, estimated size, and dates and times of sightings of the crow flock. Loomacres Wildlife Management will continue to use this information as it works to move the crows out of the city.

The toll-free phone number to report crow activities within the city is 1 (800) 243-1462. To report crow activities online, go to www.airportwildlife.com/crows.php.

For further information or questions, call the city manager’s office at 785-7730.

The wildlife biologists plan to use lethal means as part of the arsenal to rid the city of crows. As part of those efforts, they will use high-powered air rifles to shoot some of the crows. City officials hope that by witnessing a few being killed, other birds will be scared off and leave the city.

Biologists also will use such hazing methods as playing distress calls, firing low-yield pyrotechnics and using hand-held lasers to scare away the birds.

They hope to find a more suitable roosting area for the birds to stay at night, in hopes of reducing the human health and safety risks associated with an urban crow roost.

During the hazing, residents may see or hear some of the techniques that will be used.

According to the contract, Loomacres — the same company that the Watertown International Airport uses — will provide 150 hours of crow dispersing by hazing. If biologists must work more than 150 hours, Loomacres will be paid a rate of $35 per hour, with a maximum of 90 additional hours, for a total of $7,843.

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