One Man's Fight In The War Against Crows

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The city of Watertown is fighting a war, a war that's costing thousands of dollars, a war they'll never win.

A war against crows. 

Garrett Grilli is a professional crow hazer who works for Loomacres Wildlife Management.

The city contracted with the company to scare the thousands of crows in Watertown that leave pounds and pounds of fecal matter throughout the city.

But here's the kicker:

The point of hazing isn't to scare away the crows.

It is just to disperse them enough, so they're not as much of a problem in any one spot.

It is unlikely the crows will leave; they'll keep coming back because the city is warmer than the surrounding area.

Loomacres is just trying to spread out the flocks.

"I'm shooting two pyrotechnics," Grilli said. "One's called a banger, one is called a screamer."

Grilli and another crew drove around Watertown chasing flocks and firing off the screamers and bangers.

After a few years doing this, Loomacres has learned the patterns of the birds in the city. 

"I'd say after several years of wildlife work and especially with a focus on crows here in Watertown, I've gotten to know the crow pretty well," Grilli said.

The crews will be out again at dusk Thursday and Friday, including Grilli, prowling in the cold and biting north country night, screamers and bangers locked and loaded.

He's all Watertown has: one man against 30,000 crows.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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