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Oneida may "teach" migratory crows

The city of Oneida is looking to deal with migratory crows. But, they might need a little more help.

Four people showed up for a meeting held Dec. 9 to discuss the problem.

"The question is will we get enough participation," Mayor Peter Hedglon said, acknowledging the lack of attendance. "It's easy to call and complain but people are put to the test of doing it."

Hedglon said that there are two reasons why the crows roost in the city: Saftey and warmth. However, he added that they can be taught not to roost where they are not welcome.

For Don Kingsley, head of the crow committee, he's been fighting a battle against the crows at his downtown business and has used such tactics as a battery operated owl, crow CD and banging a window.

He said doing things night after night is the key.

Kingsley came armed with a packet of information and ideas, including seeking assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services Progam as Auburn had done.

"The crews used pyrotectics and lasers," Kingsley said of the Auburn effort. "The majority do leave. The first year the USDA did it at no cost. That's something we can look at."

The effort in Auburn also brought about notes regarding the crow-shooting contest. However, neither Hedglon nor Kingsley see that as a necessary step.

"I have no interest in killing them and putting the city in the position of defending that to the federal government," Hedglon said. "According to my research, non-lethal is probably more effective."

Instead, Kingsley said that they are "going to use their (crows) intelligence against them."

For right now, Kingsley and volunteers will be looking into various methods to use and recruiting help.

"I think the only thing we can do right now is get ready for next year," he said.

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