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Crows may face bullets

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City Councilwoman Roxanne M. Burns says it’s time that wildlife biologists turn to lethal means to drive the pesky crow flock out of the city.

Saying she is not satisfied with this season’s crow-hazing efforts, Ms. Burns said that pyrotechnics and other methods are just moving the 20,000 to 25,000 crows “from one part of the city to another.”

This year, wildlife biologists from Loomacres Wildlife Management, Warnerville, have been in the city four or five times to try drive the birds from their overnight roosts around the city. They have been successful in moving the crows from downtown, but the birds have ended up near her home on Mullin Street and in other city neighborhoods, she said.

“I just think we should look at other options,” she said Thursday, adding that moving them out of downtown to other areas of the city where hunters can kill them could work.

“Crows, they are so smart, I think they’re catching on to pyrotechnics and become somewhat immuned,” she said.

Councilman Joseph M. Butler Jr., who also advocates deadly force, has proposed using high-powered pellet guns to kill a few crows to scare away the remainder of the flock. That recommendation has not been acted on.

Earlier this week, Mr. Butler wondered whether the city could ever get rid of the crows.

To harass the crows, biologists have used pyrotechnics, lasers and other devices similar to sirens and fireworks. They have been told to use high-powered air rifles as a last resort.

The city has a three-year, $14,506 contract with Loomacres to handle crow-hazing activities.

On Thursday, planner Andrew T. Nichols said he is waiting for a final report from Loomacres on this season’s hazing. The information will include a listing of citizens’ crow sightings in the city and the amount of material used during the season.

In the past, council members have expressed concerns about health and safety issues from crows making their home here during the cold weather. Crows leave droppings on sidewalks, vehicles and buildings and seemingly all over some city neighborhoods.

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