Loud noises, flashing lights being used to disperse crows in Albany

February 05, 2019 11:19 PM

ALBANY – Over the next few weeks, City of Albany residents and people who work in the city may hear loud noises and see flashing lights. It’s part of an effort to disperse American Crows that gather this time of year.

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“When they gather up on such large concentrations it can cause a lot of damage,” said United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Specialist Tyler DeLisle. “That can become a human health and safety concern."

USDA crews used pyrotechnics, a laser pointer and distress calls out of a megaphone on the back of a truck to disperse roosts of crows in Albany Tuesday night. There’s no one specific spot crows gather, but there are hotspots.

“We have areas that we’re focused on based on complaints and our knowledge of the areas,” said DeLisle. “There are certain areas that have evergreen trees or rooftops with a lot of lighting or heat coming off of it that the crows are typically attracted to."

It was on Park Avenue, near the intersection of Ontario Street that the USDA crew used every method of harassment to disperse thousands of crows. There’s a reason it’s being done.

“Causing a lot of damage, pooping on cars so there's a lot of fecal buildup and noise complaints too typically,” said DeLisle.

Crows like to gather in the city this time of year because it’s warmer than in rural environments. Trash on the streets also draw them in. Albany is the only city in the Capital Region to disperse roosts of crows.

"Our goal is to disperse them into smaller, more manageable roosting sizes therefore they're creating a lot less damage so they're not concentrated 20,000 crows into one area,” explained DeLisle.

DeLisle said residents should be aware about the noises they may hear some evenings over the next few months. He said there’s something else they can be aware of.

“Trash clean up, make sure you're disposing your waste properly, putting them into containers,” said DeLisle.”

DeLisle said they’ll be back at it Wednesday at 4:30 in the evening.


WNYT Staff

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