18 crows killed during Watertown hazing

18 crows killed during Watertown hazing
Crows roost in Watertown trees (Source: WWNY)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Officials said 18 crows were killed during Thursday night’s hazing in Watertown.

The city authorized its crow hazing contractor, Loomacres Wildlife Management, to use lethal means to deal with the thousands of birds that roost in Watertown trees.

On Thursday night, Loomacres wildlife biologists used air-powered pellet guns to kill 18 crows as part of the hazing, which includes using loud noises and flashing lights from pyrotechnics, lasers, and other devices to scare the crows away from city neighborhoods.

Loomacres has tried for several years to get the thousands of birds to leave Watertown. The crows keep coming back.

The crows roost in trees in the relative warmth of the city during cold weather and have become a problem due to the droppings they leave behind.

Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith proposed killing the birds because he said the mess is destroying downtown history and presents health risk to the public.

Officials from the city and Loomacres both said the use of lethal force is a last resort.

It’s not yet determined if they’ll use lethal force again this season.

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