City of Rochester starts to disperse downtown crows

Posted at: 12/02/2013 11:15 AM
Updated at: 12/03/2013 1:18 AM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

Up to 30,000 crows have come to roost in Rochester this winter. It seems like getting them to go away is becoming a yearly tradition.

City officials are spending Monday night letting off fireworks and sound effects to try and scare crows out of town.

News10NBC took a closer look at how much this costs you the taxpayer to take care of the problem, so you can decide if it's worth the money.

News10NBC is told this is something that is necessary. That's because these birds cause damage. Officials say they can peck shingles or the plastic around your car windows, but the biggest problem is their droppings can carry diseases.

So this is why Monday night and for the next few days something is being done to get the birds out of the city.

Crews are using fireworks and electronic recordings of crow distress calls, all to help move nearly 30,000 crows out of the area.

You may have heard it shortly after sunset, but crews are going to be working throughout the night following the birds and using these tactics until they leave the city. They'll continue doing this for the next few nights so the birds don't return.

News10NBC is told this will cost the city $6,000 and you guessed it, it's paid for by tax payer money. We asked why spend the money on this when there's a chance the birds will come back this winter, and history tells us they'll come back next year.

“When you are dealing with wildlife, we can't control where wildlife goes. It is really up to them. We have no control over them, and when you are dealing with a city, an urban environment, you can't put a dome over it and keep the wildlife out. So you really have to look at it as a maintenance,” said Mark Carrara, Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Program.

News10NBC is told the three day process of scaring off the birds is what costs the city $6,000. The cost of cleaning up the droppings throughout the year, so disease doesn't spread, would cost much more.