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Hagerstown starts early to fight pesky crows

September 02, 2000

Hagerstown starts early to fight pesky crows



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


The City of Hagerstown is launching its annual assault on the migrating crow population early this year.

Trees in the downtown area are being trimmed about six weeks earlier than usual. It is hoped that thinner trees will mean less room to roost for the thousands of crows that flock to the warmth of the city on cold nights throughout the fall and winter, said Doug Stull, the city's newly appointed recreational facilities manager.

The tree trimming is also done for the health of the trees and to reduce the number of fruit falling from some trees. Stull said the tree trimming usually begins in early October.

"The crows are starting to come back and roost in some of the larger trees in the North End," Stull said.

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Tree trimming in the downtown area began about two weeks ago and should be finished by the end of September, he said. Trimming of the trees further up and down Potomac Street, along the route of the Alsatia Mummers' Parade, is expected to be finished before the end of October.

Tree trimming along the west side of the 200 and 300 blocks of South Potomac Street is scheduled Wednesday.

On Thursday, the trees along the east side of the 300 block of South Potomac Street, and along the 1st and 100 blocks of East Baltimore Street are expected to be trimmed.

For years, the city has battled the crows using tape recordings of distressed birds, air cannons, and grape mist spray. Stull said those measures, which are usually used to move the birds out of an area they have already roosted in, will be used again.

Stull said residents can use the tapes or make loud banging noises to help move the birds away from their homes once they arrive.

Depending on availability, the tapes can be obtained from city Code Enforcement Officer Marc David, who can be reached at 301-739-8577 ext. 123, or from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services Office, which can be contacted at 1-877-463-6497.

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