Twenty wonderful crow watchers joined us (Bob, Craig and I) for a spectacular late afternoon Crow Patrol. We met in the New Balance Factory Store Parking Lot at 3:30 pm and, after a brief introduction, walked over to the parking garage and got to the top floor. There was a dark band of clouds on the western sky which prevented us from having a grand sunset, the temperatures around 30 and the wind was from the NW at 20 miles per hour. Some took the elevator and others walked to the top open roof of the garage where you have a grand view to the east, south and west. It was indeed bracing!!!

Thousands of crow were perched in the tree tops to the south in the O’Connell South Common, and further east. Soon they started lifting up in waves and moved northwest – some dropped down on the lower roof of the B & D Warehouse building, some continued further north out over the river. Many came back to the roof while others peppered the sky above the northern side of the Merrimack River some settling into the trees in Pemberton Park and other filling the sky and settling further west. We have not seen so many staging to the north and west of our vantage point this winter, possibly it was to be in the lee of the wind. With the old, tall smokestacks from the age of the textile mills and the many Catholic Churches that served the many migrant waves that moved into the city to work in those mills, the crows appear in a unique backdrop. Again another pattern we had not seen before.

It was impossible to count the crows tonight with their constant moving and settling here and there except to say the noise and sight of thousands of crows was dramatic. Needless to say the stair wells and the southern elevator areas with their glass walls and heated environment attracted many of our group.

Once darkness was falling on the city, a few folk ventured (but not for long) out on the west side of Duck Bridge to watch the crows settle into their nightly roost.  The wind was fierce coming down the river but the crows seemed to be clinging onto the leafless branches and were bobbing about. Not a place I’d like to spend the night.

Frank Walley and John Harrison got some great videos from last night. Craig Gibson has already got some pictures from last night up on the blog –

Do check it out plus read our references to learn more about wintering crows!

Please plan to attend the new opening of Lawrence’s Essex Art Center’s Winter Crow Roost exhibit  at 56 Island St. – Friday night the 11th from 5-7PM. The exhibit will be open for two months 10-6 Monday to Friday.

You can follow the directions to the Crow Roost printed on the blog and enjoy it any day of the year.  Best to chose a night when the wind is not too strong and dress warmly.  Sunny afternoons give great photo ops from the garage.

I will let you know when we are giving our next guided tour.


Dana Duxbury-Fox

North Andover, MA