| By David Figura | November 19, 2018

It’s that time of year when American crows are flocking to certain Upstate New York cities to spend each night. In many cases, they roost in the thousands in downtown or other heavily populated areas, causing problems with excessive amounts of feces and loud, obnoxious cawing.

The birds’ feces can cover cars, sidewalks, benches — even landing on the heads of unsuspecting humans.

A survey by of 11 cities where they’ve come in the past revealed two where U.S. Department of Agriculture (APHIS) staff are ready to take action in the weeks ahead with non-lethal hazing techniques (Rochester and Albany), another where an independent contractor has been hired to do the same (Watertown) — and three others in which trained city staff have taken on the responsibility (Auburn, Utica, Amsterdam).

The non-lethal methods include use of pyrotechnics, lasers to spook the birds and noisy crow “distress calls” — techniques designed to move the birds to other areas nearby where they won’t be a problem.

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