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Crow hazing resumes tonight in Watertown

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Wildlife biologists will be back in Watertown tonight to fend off the city’s pesky crow population.

City officials announced that biologists with Loomacres Wildlife Management, Warnerville, will be conducting more crow hazing, starting at dusk and lasting throughout the night.

The wildlife biologists worked for several nights on two occasions already this winter, in December and early January. They have used special remote-controlled aircraft, played distress calls, fired low-yield pyrotechnics and used hand-held lasers to accomplish their task. They even considered using high-powered air rifles as a limited lethal means but have not had to resort to that method.

Until recently, the biologists seemed to have chased the 30,000 crows from their roosting areas. But in recent weeks, great numbers of the large, black birds have been seen again near the Jefferson County Historical Society, 228 Washington St., Price Chopper Plaza, Arsenal Street, and Trinity Episcopal Church, 227 Sherman St.

Some people have raised health concerns because the crows leave droppings on sidewalks, cars and parking lots. Usually by March 1, the birds leave their winter roosting areas and stay in fields outside the city.

Residents are encouraged to provide the location, estimated size and dates and times of crow flock sightings.

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

The toll-free number to report crow activities is 800-243-1462. To report crow activities online, go to www.airportwild life.com/crows.php.

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