Portland Mercury | By Sarah Vitak | December 2018
If you’ve been downtown the past few weeks, you’ve seen the murders of crows hanging out during the day—but the true spectacle occurs on winter evenings, when thousands of crows convene for their nightly roost.
The birds begin by congregating at what ornithologists call a “staging area,” usually in the Park Blocks, for a “pre-roost.” The pre-roost is a sort of crow happy hour—an opportunity for crows from as far as 50 miles away to meet and socialize. To everyone who isn’t a crow, the scene is a cawing, flapping cacophony; then, without warning, they take off and fly to a roost site to sleep for the night.
It’s an awe-inspiring, vaguely apocalyptic phenomenon that’s poorly understood. But Gary Granger and Rebecca Provorse are aiming to change that.