Flight action over roof area

Thursday, 21 Oct. 2021: partly cloudy, wind S at 6MPH, temp at 69F; sunset time 5:52PM

Out on Crow Patrol with stops along Merrimack Street all the way down to Broadway and Carver Street at Rt. 114. Large numbers starting to assemble around Helfrich Boiler Works, with well over 300 Fish Crows vocalizing and playing around in flight. Noticed the utility lines fill up with mostly Fish Crows along south side of the street, with 56 Fish Crows on the wire.

After watching Fish Crows raid a nearby crab apple tree and other vines on an abandoned building loaded with berries, laid out cracked corn on parking lot and watched a nice feeding frenzy among the Fish Crows, with a few visiting American Crows. In this image we see about 120 Crows in this feeding huddle!

Moved over to South Canal Street at sunset time to observe all of the crows in final staging mode before entering the overnight roost. Just before 6PM, and as the passing train blew the whistle, a small flight squadron of about 200 Crows lifted off the nearby warehouse roof and passed over the National Grid substation.

About ten minutes later, with large numbers of Crows, about 375 in flight, converging towards the roost, the Crows swirled in flight around the west end of the New Balance building and out over the Merrimack River before they began to descend and converge into the overnight roost.

A bit earlier, had nice aerial views of the staging Crows on the nearby warehouse rooftop, with a count of almost 1100 Crows. Overall, great flight action and lots of vocalizing tonight!

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. 

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

ATN BinoX 4K Smart HD Binoculars with photo/video

SiOnyx Aurora Pro Digital Color Night Vision Optics

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Blog post and photos by Craig Gibson, 2021 Crow Patrol, Lawrence, MA