As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

City to crows: ‘Don’t come to Utica’; Bird Blazer to be used

It can look like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” – hundreds of black crows cutting across the sky at dusk each night before settling into their trees to roost. 

But these birds, which like to winter in the city, aren’t an evil omen or even much of a threat to local residents. They’re just a nuisance, and a frequent subject of complaints at City Hall.
This year, the city hopes some new technology can help it evict its unwanted visitors. Utica used roughly $3,000 in leftover grant funds to purchase the Bird Blazer, a device designed to scare the birds away without hurting them, said David Short, commissioner of the Parks and Public Works departments.

According to a website that sells the small, portable device, the Bird Blazer uses multi-colored laser beams and constantly changing patterns to chase away any birds within a 10,000-square-foot area. Areas where it may be of use locally include Oriskany Street near Franklin Square, the area around the Addison Miller Pool and O’Connor Park – all popular hangouts for local crows.

“They have certain areas that they like, and they keep coming back. So we will do what we can to disrupt them …,” Short said. “They’ll be the only people we say, ‘Don’t come to Utica.’”

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