Rochester, N.Y. – For some people, crows are a nice part of life in Rochester.
“They’ve always been part of the culture around here,” said Jay Schreiber. “At night, they come in. It’s really beautiful to see. The sky is full of them.”
“Every time I see a crow in the street, I get happy a lot of people feel that way,” said June Avignone.
“At dusk when I look up at them fly overhead, it reminds me of the bats in Austin when they go roost under the bridge,” said Anthony Gerardi.
But the city’s flock, numbering about 25,000, has not endeared itself to others. The crows make a quite a mess.
“Doesn’t bother me. I’ve had plenty of cars pooped on, property. It is what it is. It’s nature,” said Schreiber.
“It reminds me of the people who bought houses in Durand Eastman Park who complained the deer were eating their roses. You’re in nature! Deal with it please,” said Gerardi.
“I can think of a lot of unemployed people that would happily go out and spray off some park benches,” said Jennifer Green.
“Right now, what they’re doing is making them poop more!” said Ryan Declerck.
The city, with help from the USDA, is using lasers, fireworks and distress calls to get the crows to roost someplace else.
Disturbed at the tactics, Schreiber started the Facebook group Rochesterians for Crows. In less than 24 hours, it has more than 500 members.
“I’m a lover of animals and to abuse animals like that, it doesn’t make sense morally or ethically to me,” said Green,.
The USDA says the crows are not being harmed. The agency says the operation is working, as there are fewer crows in the night sky. The crows may return in huge numbers one day and the operation would have to be repeated.
“I think they’re massively intelligent. They’re misunderstood. They’re family oriented,” said Schreiber. “They’re a metaphor for everything that is good I think.”
“Leave them alone,” said Gerardi. “They’re birds. Let birds be birds.”