Wildlife biologists were able to win the first battle to get rid of the 30,000 crows that have made their home in Watertown this season.
Biologists with Loomacres Wildlife Management, Warnerville, were able to chase the majority of the roost out of the city by conducting several nights of crow hazing last week, city officials said in a statement released Monday. They disrupted the roosting patterns, city officials said.
But their job is not yet finished.
As predicted, some crows will return to the city nightly. To combat that, biologists will continue to conduct crow dispersal activities.
The trained Loomacres team has scheduled crow hazing activities tonight and Wednesday night. Control methods will be employed from dusk until dawn.
The biologists will use special remote-controlled aircraft, play distress calls, fire low-yield pyrotechnics (screamers and bangers) and use hand-held lasers. They also might use high-powered air rifles as a limited lethal means if deemed appropriate by city officials.
These techniques should cause the crows to relocate to a more suitable roosting site outside the city and reduce the human health and safety risks associated with an urban crow roost, city officials said.
Residents are encouraged to continue to provide the location, estimated size and dates and times of crow flock sightings. Loomacres Wildlife Management will continue to use that information as it works to move the crow flock out of the city during the coming months.
The toll-free phone number to report crow activities in the city of Watertown is 1 (800) 243-1462. To report crow activities online, go to http://www.airportwildlife.com/crows.php.
For further information or questions, call the city managers office at 785-7730.