March 13, 2022: clear skies, wind SW 13MPH, gusts 22MPH, temp 34F; sunset time 6:49PM

Out on Crow Patrol with main action along in the treetops along the hillside on Prospect Street opposite 38 Prospect Street brick building. By 15 minutes after sunset time, the Crows came streaming into the tree tops and started to settle in with raucous vocalizations. This image is looking NE and skyward!

As more Crows arrived and with continued vocalizations, they also provided numerous entertaining flight bursts out over the streets below. Image below almost 30 minutes after sunset time.

On many nights when time allows, it is terrific to set up the tripod for a number of long exposure image, with all manual settings and manual focus. The one variable that impacts the hoped for crisp images, is the wind, and movement in the trees over the longer exposure time. Tonight was no exception to the challenge sin dealing with high winds and gusts as well, nonetheless, always worth the attempt! This image shows the Crows well settled in for the night and tightly packed in close to one another in the upper crowns of the trees; capture time at 70 minutes after sunset time.

The 2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, for this separate Crow Count was 12,250 Crows. Last year, the 2020 CBC Andover Circle Crow Count was 15,200. Many thanks to Donna Cooper who coordinates and compiles the Andover Circle each year!

Note on counts/estimates: we are now using 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 counting software program, as well as a hand count approach to carefully document our observations and to increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers. 

Remember to check out the latest Crow Patrol Podcast with Prof. Sylvia Halkin:

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, 2022 Crow Patrol