Crows are flocking to Syracuse

Driven from other cities in upstate New York, an increasing number of harried crows have found a new home in downtown Syracuse and its surrounding neighborhoods, where buildings provide warmth and lights offer protection from predators.

For years, Auburn was home to more than 60,000 crows during the winter. After years of complaints, officials hired the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2004 and 2005 to drive the birds away. Hazing included hand-held lasers, pyrotechnics and amplified crow distress calls.

Last year, the roost was down to about 600 birds.

Similar campaigns have been carried out in Watertown, Utica and Cortland.

Experts says there's no good estimate yet on the number of crows now in Syracuse, but it's on the rise.

Lance Clark, a senior wildlife biologist for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, says they do not pose a disease risk to humans.