March 30, 2022: mostly cloudy, wind SW 6MPH, 47F; sunset time 7:08PM
Out on Crow Patrol with brief 15 minute stop along Marston Street to observe Crows converging into overnight roost trees at the corner of Marston and Prospect Streets. Walked around the side on NE side of the corner with looks straight up at groups of Crows densely packed in the upper trees. This image below was captured about 24 minutes after sunset time.
Had a nice opportunity to observed multiple flight bursts with loud vocalizations; no matter how many times you experience this flight burst action, it is never the same and always pure exhilaration to behold. Unlike European Starlings, the Crows do not launch forth in any recognizable pattern. Rather it seems like total chaos from our limited ground view. This image was captured about 25 minutes after sunset time.
This final image was taken from the SW corner of the intersection looking skyward and at the tree tops with the Crows packing in for the night and the Prospect Hill water tower behind the trees.This image below captured about 34 minutes after sunset time. Another terrific Crow Show show, even with diminishing overall numbers as many Crows in the roost have been returning to breeding grounds much farther north!
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