March 9, 2022: heavy overcast skies with snow, fog, visibility 3/4 mile, wind N at 5MPH, 32F; sunset time 5:43PM
Out on Crow Patrol with stops in the hospital parking lot, atop Prospect Hill, and back along west side of Prospect Street. This view is from General Street looking to the east and skyward as the Crow settled in to the tree tops along Prospect Street; image captured at almost 30 minutes after sunset time.
The Crows had started to stream into the extended roost area at least 90 minutes before sunset time due to weather conditions. The initial groupings were seen in the trees and on the ground around Storrow Park atop Prospect Hill. This image was captured about 40 minutes after sunset time.
They anchored in treetops at top of Prospect Street hillside, south of the water tower and up to the charter school with loud and incessant vocalizations, and a few flight bursts like this one about 45 minutes after sunset time.
The 2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, for this separate Crow Count was 12,250 Crows. Last year, the 2020 CBC Andover Circle Crow Count was 15,200. Many thanks to Donna Cooper who coordinates and compiles the Andover Circle each year!
Note on counts/estimates: we are now using improved methods for counting the large number of Crows while streaming, staging, and in the roost. For all images, we use both a modified open source counting software program, as well as a hand count approach to carefully document our observations and to increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers.
Remember to check out the latest Crow Patrol Podcast with Prof. Sylvia Halkin: wintercrowroost.com/podcast/
Photo gear used for this outing:
Canon EOS 80D with Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EOS 80D with Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (Infrared)
Canon 1DX MK II with Canon EF Telephoto Zoom 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Sony AX700 4K HDR Camcorder
ATN BinoX 4K Smart HD Binoculars with photo/video
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Blog post and photos by Craig Gibson, 2022 Crow Patrol