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Posted on: November 12, 2019

USDA to Conduct Crow Dispersal Program in City of Trenton


Trenton N.J. – At the request of the State of New Jersey, Department of the Treasury, personnel from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services (WS) will be conducting crow dispersal activities starting November 12, 2019 at authorized Department of Treasury and State properties, as well as City of Trenton property.

The initial phase of the project will begin Tuesday, November 12, 2019 and conclude Friday, November 30, 2019. Bird dispersal methods and activities will occur throughout Trenton from approximately 4:00pm to 9:00pm for up to four consecutive nights (Tuesday thru Friday). Follow-up dispersal efforts may continue periodically into April 2020. 

The methods used to disperse crows include pyrotechnics, lasers, spotlights, amplified recordings of crow distress calls, and crow effigies. Several of these methods produce loud noises and flashing lights (similar to sirens and fireworks) that frighten birds and may be heard or observed by local residents. WS vehicles can be identified by their flashing amber beacons and agency door logos. All personnel will be dressed in reflective vests with “USDA” printed on them and will be in contact with State and City police departments.

During the months of October through March, crows roost communally in the tens of thousands in downtown Trenton. Noise and accumulation of feces from this large winter roost is not only a nuisance, it causes property damage and incurs significant financial costs for clean-up. The excessive amount of fecal material also poses a concern for human health with increased disease risks, such as histoplasmosis. Crows can also pose substantial risk to human safety as bird strike hazards to aircraft, such as helicopters arriving and departing in close proximity to the roost area.

The goal of this wildlife damage management project is to break up the large crow roost in Trenton into smaller, less concentrated flocks that will cause fewer problems. The public may assist in this dispersal by properly disposing all food waste and keeping trash inaccessible to wildlife. For questions, comments, or to report sightings of large flocks of crows, please contact USDA APHIS WS NJ at (908) 735-5654 x7.


PRESS CONTACT: Connor S. Ilchert

Office: (609) 989-3047

Cell: (609) 575-1880

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