Central New Yorkers learn ways to control crows

Soon thousands of crows will be back in Central New York.

Dr. Kevin McGowan, a crow expert who studies the birds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology says there is no reason to fear these often misunderstood birds.

"They mean you no harm. They come in peace. They are just doing what crows do," he says.

What crows do is hang out in large numbers. Dr. McGowan says crows are very social and also very smart and he says contrary to popular belief, killing crows is not an effective way to stop large numbers of the birds from roosting.

It's not a population problem. It's a behavior issue. Crows like to get together, you could kill all the crows in the world except a thousand and that thousand could get together in your backyard and it would seem like too many," he says.

Keeping crows from roosting was the focus of a seminar sponsored by the New York State Wildlife Management Association in Baldwinsville Thursday.

Cody Baciuska says traditional methods of scaring crows with loud noises work, but only under certain conditions and only temporarily. "

No matter what the birds are going to get acclimated to any type of harassment technique. It's a combination of using different techniques and persistence is what is going to solve the problem," he says.

Baciuska says another option is to accept the fact that these mysterious black birds are an important part of our ecosystem who before we know it will be back to spend yet another fall and winter with us here in Central New York.

"If people just stop and watch them for awhile they would learn how interesting they are and they might want to learn more about them," he says.