Rochester spends more money to get rid of Crows - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester spends more money to get rid of Crows

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The crows in downtown Rochester are back, and in fact some say they never left at all.

Monday afternoon the Rochester City Council gave the United States Bird Abatement Services the permission to once again try and rid the downtown area of crows. The company is set to start netting the birds on Wednesday and relocating them 150 miles away, closer to the Minnesota/South Dakota border.

"They're becoming more and more aggressive after the people's garbage cans," said Mark Bilderback, with the city council.

"Most of these birds have been coming here their entire lives, so this is not something that is going to be a magical fix overnight," said Heather Gast, with the U.S. Bird Abatement.

Gast said there were nearly 20,000 crows roosting around Mayo in mid-December, now she estimates there are only about 2,000. While the crow population may have declined, the birds are still making a mess.

"The sidewalks are hideous with their feces and I'm concerned that it's becoming a huge health issue. If they don't get it cleaned up, or get rid of these crows than it could possibly start making people sick," said Karla Sperry, Bilotti's Owner.

Along with netting the crows, bird handlers will once again use lasers, air horns, hawks and Peregrine falcons to get rid of the crows. And if that doesn't work, more drastic measures may be taken. The city is applying for a permit that will allow them to take lethal measures on the birds, but won't include gases or poisons.

As for the cost, the city has spent nearly $8,500 with an additional $15,000 coming in from donors.

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