This episodes explores Prof. Marzluff’s latest research and academic work, the launch of his new “Crow Scientist” app, and his thoughts on behavior patterns and counting efforts around a winter crow roost.
In this episode, we heard about Prof. Marzluff’s research and academic work during the pandemic. He also shared news on the launch of his new citizen scientist app for young people. We discussed the many facets of a winter crow roost: how large they can be, staging and flying to the overnight roost, Crow family social dynamics, roosts as information centers, the deafening vocalizations around an overnight roost, and then approached to counting crows in a roost!
JOHN MARZLUFF, Ph.D., is the James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. His research has been the focus of articles in the New York Times, National Geographic, Audubon, Boys Life, The Seattle Times,and National Wildlife. PBS’s NATURE featured his raven research in its production, “Ravens,” and his crow research in the film documentary, “A Murder of Crows”. His graduate and initial post-doctoral research focused on the social behavior and ecology of jays and ravens. He was especially interested in communication, social organization, and foraging behavior. His current research brings this behavioral approach to pressing conservation issues including raptor management, management of pest species, and assessment of nest predation.
His book, In the Company of Crows and Ravens (with Tony Angell, 2005 Yale U. Press) blends biology, conservation, and anthropology to suggest that human and crow cultures have co-evolved. This book won the 2006 Washington State Book Award for general nonfiction. With his wife, Colleen, he has published Dog Days, Raven Nights (2011 Yale University Press), which combines reflection with biology and the recreational pursuit of dog sledding to show how a life in science blooms. Gifts of the Crow (2012 Free Press) applies a neurobiological perspective to understand the amazing feats of corvids. He is a member of the board of editors for Acta Ornithologica, Landscape Ecology and Ecological Applications. Currently leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Team for the critically endangered Mariana Crow, he is also a Fellow of the American Ornithologist’s Union.
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.