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Utica residents dealing with crow infestation

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Crows have descended upon east Utica, between Eagle and Albany Streets, near Buckley pool.
  
"It's a layer...it's a layer," says Allen Street resident Ed Wickham of the bird droppings on his and neighboring properties. 
  
"The cleanup. You're constantly washing your cars every day or two. My wife's got a new car," says Wickham.
   
In addition to the mess, there's the noise.
   
"My daughter wakes up 5, 6:00 in the morning, even on weekends," says Wickham, adding that the child can't even play in the snow in the backyard, because it's filled with crow droppings.
   
Wickham says the crows aren't particular about the time of day they begin pestering east Utica neighborhoods.
  
"Sometimes they show up at 6:00 at night, sometimes 9, sometimes 2 in the morning until the dawn then they take flight."
   
City officials have tried everything from lasers to making some noise of their own through various machines. Nothing has solved the crow problem for good. Public Works Commissioner Dave Short says he and the mayor checked out the problem in the east Utica neighborhoods Tuesday night. He says they've contacted the state Department of Environmental Conservation and that officials there have said consistency is the key to driving crows out of a neighborhood. 
   
"You've got to be there consistently at that tree for them not to come back. So that's why I'm saying to homeowners, if you have a particular tree in your backyard that the crows like to roost in, it's best to go get a bright light and laser pen and sit there when you're there, to disrupt the birds. The city does not have the resources to sit there in your backyard and to that all night long."
    

Short says the city is still exploring solutions, but that the best bet for consistency is the homeowner. 

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