Watertown considers new contract with crow consultant

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WATERTOWN — Maybe hitting the crows hard and early are chasing them out of the city during the winter.

City officials are saying that the city’s crow hazing efforts could be working since Watertown implemented a strategy of getting its crow experts to start their work early and do it more often.

The numbers of crows apparently bears it out, said Michael A. Lumbis, the city’s planning and community director.

With Loomacres Wildlife Management handling the hazing efforts for several years now, the crow flocks began last year with about as many as 3,500 of the pesky birds, down from 15,000 to 20,000 from the city’s worst crow seasons.

Mr. Lumbis thinks perhaps that Loomacres is winning the battle.

“The last two years we started early and it seems to have kept them out of the city,” he said, although the north country’s mild winters might also have been a factor.

Tonight, the City Council is expected to consider a new three-year contract with Loomacres to conduct its crow hazing efforts.

During the first year, Loomacres would be paid $6,003.72, up a few hundred dollars from the most recent contract. Last year, Loomacres was in the third year of a three-year, $16,238 contract.

During the most recent crow season, Loomacres began hazing efforts on Oct. 26 and ended them in March while going out nine times, according to a report that Loomacres wrote after the season ended.

In previous years, they began in late November or in December.

“Overall, the harassment operations during the Watertown 2021-2022 winter season were viewed as a success,” according to the Loomacres report.

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