Rochester, N.Y. - The city of Rochester has begun the process of scaring away some 20,000 crows.
City officials are working with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Division in an attempt to discourage the birds from settling in the city.
"The idea is to disrupt their pattern and basically push them out of the city," said Mark Carrara, Wildlife Biologist with the USDA.
While they've been a presence citywide for many years, crows frequently roost in Washington Square Park and the surrounding area.
"It's feces on sidewalks, streets, places where people are walking and crossing," said Chris Wagner, City Director of Operations.
Crows will be scared away using methods that include pyrotechnics, lasers and amplified recordings of crow distress calls.
"When you are dealing with a wildlife problem of this magnitude, we're looking to achieve a balance where you are not looking for the birds to be such a problem, but you can't really expect the birds to leave altogether," explained Carrara.
The first phase of the project began just after 5 o'clock near Mount Hope Avenue.
USDA said its crew is prepared to work each night this week.
The contract with USDA says its crew will return if needed for up to five additional days according to Wagner.