In this episode, we explored how Prof. Clark first became involved with birds, her academic work and doctorate at the University of Chicago, her teaching and research at Binghamton University, her extensive research and field work with American and Fish Crows, and her approach to counting Crows around an overnight winter roost.
After learning about Prof. Clark’s background and academic work, we had a chance to dive into details around winter Crow roost and strategies for accurate counting of the Crows. Prof Clark shared her methodologies for counting in blocks, preferred times for making counts, the relevance around orders of magnitude, using photography, having counting team members in place, vantage points, and recording tools for documenting purposes.
ANNE CLARK is a behavioral ecologist broadly interested in the evolution and ecology of animal social behavior. In addition to other research, she has spent time over the last 20 years, researching the social ecology of American crows in suburban Ithaca, NY. Ongoing studies with her wonderful grad and undergrad students include genetics, communication, learning and personality. The advent of West Nile Virus in our long-term study population of crows has added a focus on social and demographic effects of injury and disease for me, my collaborator, Dr. KJ McGowan (Cornell Lab of Ornithology), and former students Dr. D. Robinson (Mount St. Mary’s College) and Dr. A. Townsend (Hamilton College). Her current students have extended crow research to new species: Fish Crows, Mariana Crows and Large-billed Jungle Crows. At Binghamton University, I teach classes in “Animal Behavior”, “Primate Behavioral Ecology” and “Behavior and Disease” plus diverse graduate seminars.
CRAIG GIBSON is a bird conservation photographer. His current focus is on expanding awareness about the Winter Crow Roost located in Lawrence, MA. Craig has well over 300 documented observation nights tracking and documenting this crow roost. He leads many group tours and has made numerous presentations and talks. Craig designed and launched a blog and this podcast about the Winter Crow Roost and continues to oversee all editorial content. He has also been the lead on initiating and coordinating a range of activities and events with local arts, education, and community groups as well as working with a growing number of conservation and environmental organizations. He wrote and published a comprehensive 14-page report to recap the 2018-2019 winter season, and a comprehensive guide about roost photography at night. His efforts have raised much greater awareness about the Winter Crow Roost in Lawrence, MA, and he has been a catalyst for a range of new community science initiatives.