Home Page2020-02-01T18:46:20-04:00
Essex Art Center

For decades, the banks of the Merrimack River in Lawrence, MA have hosted one of the largest winter crow roosts in New England. Both American and Fish Crows begin to form a nightly communal winter roost along the Merrimack River in October and continue through April. The estimated number of Crows last winter was well above 25,000! Seeing thousands of crows converge around the roosting location at sunset is an amazing natural phenomenon!

Please join us at Essex Art Center on Sunday, February 23, 2020 for a gallery tour, a talk by Craig Gibson, one of the founders of the Crow Patrol. Craig will provide an update on the 2020 Winter Crow Roost season, and an overview about this amazing avian phenomenon. One of his walks was just featured in a front page article about the winter crows in the Eagle Tribune. The gallery tour and talk will be followed by a trip to a viewing area near the overnight communal crow roost to watch the amazing nightly “crow show”.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.


To join our wait list, click on the Join Waitlist button below.

On the Eventbrite registration page, select the green Register button.

On the screen that pops up, select the Join Waitlist button.

Those on wait list will get early bird notice for next event!

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Event schedule:

3:30 pm: Essex Art Center opens; guests may explore EAC’s galleries, which are “Celebrating the Winter Crow Roost” from January 10 through March 15 by featuring crow-related art, photographs, videos and more.

4:15 pm: 2020 Crow Patrol update

5:00 pm: Depart from Essex Art Center to crow viewing areas (guests must provide their own transportation; directions will be provided. Viewing areas may be within walking distance of EAC, but are of course determined by the crows and therefore subject to change!)

5:15 pm: Arrive at Crow viewing area

5:20 – 6:00 pm: Observe and photograph staging and roosting crow activities (sunset is at 5:26 p.m.)

6:00pm: Debrief session at Spicket River Brewery with tasting of a local craft brew “Crowpacalypse Beer”


The city of Lawrence, MA lies in the heart of the Merrimack Valley near the border of southern New Hampshire. It is located in Essex County, along the Merrimack River, and is about twenty-five miles north of Boston. Lawrence enjoys a rich history as a city of immigrants, and has a large number of massive old brick textile mill buildings.

For decades, the city has hosted a significant winter crow roost. The winter crow roost consists of mostly American Crows, along with a smaller number of Fish Crows. Typically, an hour before sunset, the crows gather in smaller pre-roost groupings. These pre-roost (staging) locations may change on any given night. The crows then converge about a half hour after sunset, into a final roost location. For many years, the final roost location had been along the south side of the Merrimack River, by the New Balance building complex. Over the winter of 2017-2018, and 2018-2019, the final roost location changed many times.  Since November 2019, the roost has been located on the east side of the Rt. 495 Bridge. The size of the winter roost typically grows from an initial group of 2,500 in October to over 25,000 crows in January and February!

It is an amazing sight to see and you are invited to take a closer look, through this blog, to learn more and enjoy this awesome avian experience.