Crow droppings cover a picnic table at a playground along Washington Street in Watertown in February. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith is again calling for lethal means to get rid of the crows that roost in the city.

What do you think of the Watertown mayor's proposal to shoot more crows?

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During a budget session Saturday, Mayor Smith said it was time for city staff and police officers to be trained to shoot them.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Let’s get rid of them. We have to hit them hard and hit them early,” he told council members.

Mayor Smith would like to see city staff and police officers armed to kill crows because of the droppings that they leave on and around buildings along lower Washington Street. He instructed City Manager Kenneth A. Mix to come up with a plan before the first crow shows up this fall.

“It’s really a big problem,” Councilwoman Sarah Compo said.

People were particularly irritated this past winter by the sheer amount of droppings that the crows left on buildings, sidewalks and cars. It was difficult to maneuver around crow feces that covered sidewalks leading to the Flower Memorial Library, Jefferson County Historical Museum and City Hall, and on a children’s playground outside the Dulles State Office Building, the mayor said.

“It’s disgusting and destructive,” he said.

While agreeing with him on the issue, Councilwoman Lisa Ruggiero warned that the mayor’s comments might be met with opposition from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, which responded to the crow shootings this winter.

Kristin Rickman, Emergency Response Division Manager for PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department, said that shooting the crows would not be a “financial sound decision,” since hazing is a more efficient way of moving them out of communities.

She thinks the mayor is acting out anger when crows are just a part of nature.

In what has become a yearly event, the thousands of crows show up in late October and stick around until sometime in March because they like the warmer temperatures in the city and the ambient light that protects them from their predators. After the season, they stay in fields in the country.

Loomacres just completed the first year of a three-year, $16,238 contract to chase the crows out of downtown and neighborhoods.

City officials have been worried about the health risks of the crow droppings.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(6) comments


Crows are one of the biggest carriers of the sometimes-fatal virus called West Nile Disease. Crows killed by the virus have been found in the cities and suburbs.

Holmes -- the real one

Fake "Holmes" --

Humans carry far more diseases than crows. Sometimes fatal diseases.

Your comment here does not utilize rational reasoning.

Take some time to actually learn about West Nile Virus and how it is transmitted. Killing crows is not the way to manage West Nile Virus.

Hint: Think about the vector.

Holmes -- the real one

Where is this REALLY coming from? Sounds like displacement to me.

"Let’s shoot more crows, they’re disgusting and destructive"

Who is the mayor trying to impress with this kind of language?

Since there is absolutely NO likelihood that the mayor's "idea" is going to actually solve the problem, why is the mayor acting like this? Would if help if he could hang out at the former mayor's bar?

Why doesn't Watertown find a mayor who employs intelligent solutions to vexing problems?


Holmey, what “ intelligent solutions” do you propose? Why don’t you bring solutions to the table instead of complaints, after all you are the God Narrator..

Holmes -- the real one

Fake "Holmes" ---

Here's where you demonstrate that you do not actually read the comments on these boards. I have SEVERAL TIMES discussed specific intelligent approaches to dealing with the crow issue.

Clearly, the main issue here is that the mayor has a different agenda.

Apparently you do too.


If you could eradicate them it might be justifiable. But the number you could shoot would be a drop in the bucket. Unless it significantly affects the damage they do, it's pointless cruelty. Do we have a million air pellets?

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