Conditions: mostly sunny, wind from W at 15MPH, gusts 25MPH, 63F

Had a nice tour of the new Mill240 building on north side of Merrimack River, opposite the New Balance building. Stafford and his team offered a warm welcome, and a thoughtful tour. The cover photo shows the views looking SE over the river from the spectacular roof deck. The Crows frequently use the rooftop of this building as a final staging area prior to entry into overnight roost. This old mill building has just been transformed into 200 apartment and storage units. While taking in the views, about 30 Crows swirled and landed in the trees on south side of river!

A bit later stopped by the back side of 280 Merrimack St. to observe gathering of Crows on the ground in the fenced in construction zone. This has been a regular staging area for the Crows over the two months. The Crow arrive after construction work is done for the day.  The Crows stream in from many directions starting about an hour before sunset. They mill around on the dirt ground and perch in nearby trees along both sides of the Merrimack River.  Movement to the final roost is dependent on a number of variables: wind, wind direction and wind speed, cloud cover, precipitation, and time of day versus sunset time.

As a side note, as tenants move in, construction continues on the Mill240 project in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The rehabilitated mill apartment community, which is situated along the banks of the Merrimack, is built upon the historic former Newark Paper Mill. The project includes the renovation of two buildings. A seven-story 344,000-square-foot building will feature 198 one- and two-bedroom apartments, a 60,0000-square-foot self-storage facility, and a 42,000-square-foot ground level parking garage to accommodate 100 vehicles. Community features will include a roof deck, cyber café, fitness center and yoga studio, community room and a riverfront park. An additional 29,000-square-foot single-story building will house 19 studio units. The site has remained unoccupied for several decades, leaving it in severe disrepair and requiring extensive structural work. Despite a large amount of demolition required for the project, the large brick smokestack – the largest in Lawrence – will remain intact and lend to the historical qualities of this project. The Mill240 project is already bringing new life and increased economic opportunities to the Lawrence community. Stay tuned for updates!

Blog post and photos by Craig Gibson, 2019 Crow Patrol, Lawrence, MA

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