Rochester tries again to oust crows

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Crows fills the sky near the Trask Worship Center at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minn. Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (MPR File Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

The crows seem to really like Rochester.

For the last few months, thousands of crows have swarmed downtown Rochester, congregating in nearby parks, scavenging trash bins and leaving a blanket of droppings on sidewalks and parked cars near the Mayo Clinic.

Clinic officials covered some of the trees with nets to keep the birds away. And late last year, the City Council hired a bird abatement company to bring in “attack birds,” including falcons and hawks, to scare off the crows.

The city took donations from downtown businesses to help cover the $25,000 cost, but the attack birds didn’t seem to do the trick.

Now, city officials have given the bird abatement company the green light to try yet another plan to get the birds out of town.

The new plan, according to news reports, involves trapping and relocating the birds somewhere near Worthington in western Minnesota, even though it’s unclear exactly where the birds would be released. The council says it’ll pay the company $1,200 a day to proceed with the new plan.

Rochester is not alone in the great battle against crows.

Take a listen to MPR’s recent coverage of the crow situation just 90 miles north in Minneapolis.