Dec. 23, 2021: clear skies, wind W 10MPH, temp at 30F; sunset time 4:15PM
Out on Crow Patrol with initial stops in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery where the Crows are known to use as a smaller staging area. We observed over 300 Crows about 30 minutes before sunset time. The image below was captured after entering Immaculate Conception and coming up to the top of the hill, and looking NNE.
Based on observations while approaching the area around the hospital campus; we scouted out around the top of Prospect Hill; Looking south from E. Haverhill Street, between High/Prospect Streets we observed and heard loud incoming flight streams. The Crows assembled mostly in the neighborhood tree tops, and as always, were vocalizing loudly. This image shows about 175 Crows almost 15 minutes after sunset time.
We moved around 15 minutes after sunset time, to our final viewing area, located on the east side of the Lawrence General Hospital campus. The Crows were streaming in, one wave after another; this image below shows a group of over 200 Crows converging towards the overnight roost area just over 20 minutes after sunset time.
As the numbers multiplied, the Crows made numerous flight bursts, that were closely synchronized with a matching loud wave of vocalizations. This image shows a dazzling flight burst of over 1100 Crows, about 25 minutes after sunset time, moving in flight, south along Prospect Street towards the overnight roost just ahead. Another amazing Crow show!
The preliminary estimate for the 2021 CBC in the Andover Circle for the annual Crow Count is a total of 12,250 Crows. More details to follow in upcoming posts!
Note on counts/estimates: we are now using much 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 software program, as well as a hand count approach to carefully document our observations and to increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers.
THE 2020 NATIONAL AUDUBON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT (CBC) ESTIMATE FOR THIS CROW ROOST: 15,200
Check out the newly launched Crow Patrol Podcast: 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, 2021 Crow Patrol