TRENTON, NJ (WTXF) - Thousands of crows are descending on downtown Trenton--coming to rest in the trees outside several state office buildings.
"Our estimates are roughly 20,000 to 30,000 birds that have been coming in each night," Kimberly Clapper, of the USDA ,told FOX 29.
The huge flocks of crows have been coming here since October to roost. As the crows arrived just after sunset Tuesday, USDA experts were waiting. They have a plan to try and disperse them.
"Our goal is to not allow them to settle into the roost, but to harass them out before they get into the area," Clapper explained.
The crows leave behind a lot of waste on bus stops, sidewalks, cars and the parking lots. There's concern about a number of issues--from health to safety.
"There's feces accumulation and damage. There's also disease concerns. We have helicopters coming in there's a helipad nearby. There could be a bird strike," Clapper added.
Tuesday night, the USDA used some hand-held pyrotechnics, lasers and crow distress recordings to get the massive flocks to disperse into smaller groups and fly to other locations. So why Trenton in the first place?
"Probably because it is a well lit, elevated type area. It's also quiet at night," the USDA expert said.
The USDA tracking team will spend the next two weeks in the area checking to see if the crows return or relocate.
"The main goal is to get them into smaller, splinter groups that will be more tolerable to the residents," Clapper said.
Damages and cleanup costs are said to be substantial. Cleaning cars, sidewalks, buildings. That all has to be done frequently to deal with the issue. All the methods the USDA used Tuesday night are approved and non-lethal