Rochester starts process of crow hazing and harassment - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester starts process of crow hazing and harassment

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The light and sound show is on in Rochester as wildlife biologists from the USDA work to scare away the crows.

The process of hazing and harassment may get loud and will continue for the rest of the week. 

City officials said they expect the noise to disrupt some people, but they say the disturbance is worth it if it chases away the crows.

The crow harassment method starts with a broadcast of crow sounds to find the birds.

Biologists then use lasers to chase them out of trees, and if that doesn't work, they start using pyrotechnics.

And it can get loud. The biologists use two types of pyrotechnics. One looks and sounds like a bottle rocket, and the other makes a short but very loud bang. 

City officials said one week of constant crow harassment will hopefully work better than efforts in past years.

"I think these guys know what they're doing," said Doug Knott, the Rochester Development Administrator. "They've worked in other cites. We're hopeful they're going to make a significant dent in the problem that we've got."

But even after the biologists bring out the heavy artillery for the week, it's not likely the crows will stay away.

City officials are learning the methods the biologists are using, so they can chase the crows again when they inevitably return.

"It's difficult to say that they're not going to come back," said Gary Nohrenberg, the Minnesota State Director for the USDA Wildlife Services. "With these birds, it's commonly felt that it's a learned behavior. They're a long lived bird so they will come back to these areas."

Biologists said they're only using non-lethal methods because they say there is not a lethal method that would be safe in a city.

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