News Release - City, USDA Wildlife Services to Disperse Winter Crows

City of Rochester

News Release

(Monday, Dec. 4, 2023) – The City will commence its wildlife management project today to disperse a winter roost of 20,000 to 30,000 crows.

Wildlife biologists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services Program will break up the roost with the use of pyrotechnics, spotlights, lasers and amplified electronic recordings of crow distress calls. These methods will not harm the birds.

Management efforts will begin at dusk in the Downtown area and continue through the night. Follow-ups will then be conducted to keep the birds from re-establishing a large roost.

The goal of the effort is to break up and disperse the large roost from the Downtown area and minimize damage associated with the high concentrations of crows. Once the methods are in progress, the crows will disperse into smaller groups that will spread out over a broader area, reducing the crows’ damage and mess.

City and Wildlife Services representatives recognize the management project techniques may be disruptive and respectfully request public cooperation as crews work throughout the city. Residents are asked to assist the effort by calling 311 (428-5990 outside city limits) to report the locations of large groups of crows.


The Administration of Mayor Malik D. Evans strives to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone. Guided by the Administration’s Mission, Vision and Values and the principles of the “Rochester 2034” comprehensive plan, City employees are committed to providing exceptional customer service, transparent stewardship, and collaborative leadership to foster a vibrant community that empowers personal, professional and generational growth for all who live, work or play in the city of Rochester.