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Watertown’s crow hazing to start after Dec. 1

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Have you been bothered by the pesky crow population this season?

Loomacres Wildlife Management, the Warnerville company that the city has hired to haze the crows, wants to know. Residents can provide information about the city’s crow flock, such as the location, estimated size and dates and times of crow-flock sightings, by phone or online. The wildlife biologists will use this information when they begin crow-hazing activities after Dec. 1.

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

The first night of hazing has not been scheduled yet.

During the past several weeks, crows already have been seen hanging out in trees around the Dulles State Office Building and City Hall and at other locations around Washington Street.

This season, wildlife biologists from Loomacres plan to use lethal means as part of the arsenal to rid the city of crows. As a 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 get scared off and leave the city.

The tactic also was used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services in Potsdam two years ago, when about 10 crows were shot and killed.

The biologists from Loomacres also will use such hazing methods as playing distress calls, firing low-yield pyrotechnics and using hand-held lasers to scare away the flocks. The city will pay Loomacres $4,693 to haze the birds this season.

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

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