By Dugan Arnett Globe Staff,Updated February 17, 2020, 3:27 p.m.
LAWRENCE — They arrive, every evening, by the thousands, descending upon a quiet stretch of riverbank near a noisy highway overpass.
Crows resting on tree branches. Crows circling high above the Merrimack River. Crows relieving themselves on the footpaths near the water.
It is like something Alfred Hitchcock would’ve dreamed up, some residents say, except that it is real and — as those who have stumbled upon the birds’ bizarre nightly roosting ritual can attest — somehow even stranger than it sounds.
“You can’t explain it,” says Craig Gibson, a Catholic chaplain at Lawrence General Hospital and regular observer of the crows’ behavior. “You just gotta see it.”
I live in the Prospect Hill neighborhood of Lawrence near the Merrimack River. I have also observed thousands of crows flying at twilight. Some of them land on trees in the embankment in back of my house for about 5 minutes. Then they fly again. I believe they like to roost at night at Storrow Park at the top of Prospect Hill. I have also observed flocks of crows flying toward that direction. My husband, Ken, thinks they may change roosting areas because of hawks and the peregrine falcons. The peregrine falcons were nesting in the Ayer Mill building’s clock tower. We do enjoy seeing the large flocks of crows flying at night and hearing their caws, as they keep in touch with each other.
The Crows keep us all entertained! Your husband may be right: hawks, falcopns, and owls!
For YEARS I used to go fro. N Andover to watch this marveling at the crows a lesson in companionship
An amazing sight!