Love’em or hate’em, these feathered Rochesterians may be here for the long haul. Last February the City and USDA used spotlights, pyrotechnics, lasers and recordings of distress calls to scare a pesky flock of crows out of Washington Square Park. But the birds came back. So, in December City Council approved another $21,000 for crow removal and they tried it again. For now, Washington Square seems to be free and clear. But the family of roughly 40,000 didn’t move very far. In fact, they’re hiding in plain sight…
About two weeks ago, on my way home up Saint Paul Street, I noticed an enormous black cloud twisting its way through the skies over the Genesee River gorge. I couldn’t see the beginning or end of this thing. No exaggeration, the cloud stretched for over a mile. Rising up out of the gorge somewhere near the middle falls, and moving south over Frontier Field. It was one big, continuous stream of black birds – both hair-raising and astonishingly beautiful. For the next two weeks almost everyday at the same time, this was a recurring event.
This past Friday, from Lake Avenue I noticed the swarm settling down to roost in some trees along the edge of the gorge. So I pulled out my cheap pocket camera and took some video (above). The clip is shaky and out of focus, I know… but that’s what you get when you forget your gloves on a sub-freezing January day in Rochester. At least I remembered the camera.
Anyway, standing their in the freezing cold watching this massive congregation of wildlife settling down for the night, I really could begin to understand why someone would set up a Facebook group or maybe design a t-shirt to end the corvine expulsions. Clarke Conde, photographer and designer of the t-shirt , sent me the following statement:
Well, take solace Clarke. These feathered friends look poised to move back into downtown again one day quite soon. And the City of Rochester may end up having to eat crow . Maybe literally.
This page from Cornell has lots of info that explains why we will most likely never rid the city of crows for good.
Tags: crows, flock of crows, Genesee River Gorge, High Falls, Rochester, Rochester NY
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