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Crows come a cawing in Rockville

Thursday - 12/9/2010, 6:43am  ET

crows (WTOP Photo/Michelle Basch)
Crows are seen covering the trees behind the gas station at dusk.(WTOP Photo/Michelle Basch)
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ROCKVILLE, Md. - It's a sound that neighbors in Rockville know all too well -- the cawing of the crows.

Thousands of them fly into this neighborhood off Montrose Road the third week of October and stay until spring.

They fly in sometimes two or three at a time. Then maybe 15 or 20 at a time. Over a 20-minute period at dusk the birds fill the trees up all around the station.

"We've been here 25 years. The birds were here before us," says Dave Healander, general manager of the Montrose Road Getty gas station near Rockville Pike.

"They stay all night, and leave in the morning when the sun starts coming up."

Healander jokes that you'll need a hat or carry an umbrella if you are there after feeding time.

"Unfortunately, they must eat all day because I think they poop all night," he says.

It's a colorful array that the bird plop. Be forewarned. If you leave your car in the area a day or two, it will be a different color when you return.

Healander and neighbors say the stench, when it's warm outside, is unbearable. They've reported the bird problem to Montgomery County, but have been told there's really nothing that can be done.

Crows are common in a lot of urban areas, but nobody knows why they gather where they do. One theory is that cities and suburbs are warmer and provide the artificial light that helps them see the owls that prey on them.

WTOP's Michelle Basch captures their sights and sounds in this video:

WTOP's Michelle Basch contributed to this report. Follow Michelle on Twitter

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