Dec. 21, 2021: clear skies, calm, 36F; sunset time 4:14PM
Out on Crow Patrol with initial scouting all around Prospect Hill as Crows were starting to stream in from all directions. This first image was captured right at sunset time. It shows a smaller group of about 75 Crows streaming in towards the staging area.
After checking many locations with smaller groupings, we discovered the largest assemblage in a roughly 8 acre square patch of woods off of Ferry Street; located about 4/10 mile NE from the roost area along Prospect Street. With clear skies, more Crows were arriving, and against clear skies, we remained in place watching and listening to the spectacle until about 30 minutes after sunset time. This image is looking north along Katherine Street with about 275 Crows streaming into the general area.
After a few large flight bursts, we sensed it was time to leapfrog forward for viewing purposes, and we made a zigzag series of moves, tracking the Crows in flight, and set up by Lawrence General Hospital. As the numbers increased in large increments, the vocalizations went higher as well. This image shows a typical flight burst towards the overnight roost area, at 25 minutes after sunset time, with almost 600 Crows in flight mode.
Right on schedule, the Crows moved into the overnight roost area along Prospect Street, with loud vocalizations, flight bedlam, and wild swirling flight bursts. The action and noise levels all diminished almost an hour after sunset time. This image is looking up at the trees along the east side of Prospect Street, and it shows a section of over 650 Crows settled into the overnight roost. Yet, another amazing Crow Show!
The preliminary estimate for the 2021 CBC in the Andover Circle for the special 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
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