Dazzling sights and sounds

Jan. 10, 2023 under clear skies, wind NW 7MPH, temp 36F,: sunset time 4:30PM

Out on Crow Patrol at lower end of Marston St. with early incoming flight streams arriving mostly from the from NW at sunset time and lasting about 20 minutes. the clear sky background colors were gorgeous. This image at 12 minutes post sunset time.

As Crows began to build up in the roost tree tops, a number of smaller flight bursts unfolded out over the main intersection with growing vocalizations. This image at 29  minutes post sunset time.

At 30 minutes past sunset time, a massive flight burst was unleashed with the Crows circling above the roof at One Marston, on the south side of the street, in a massive and deafening flight swarm, unlike any other prior outing. They hovered just above the roof, almost like they were mobbing an owl or a hawk!

After a while the Crows returned to the roost that continues to stretch out more in both directions from the intersection. As the Crows settled in for the night, smaller flight bursts continued close to 60 minutes post sunset time. This image  at 54 minutes post sunset time, shows a side profile of the roost trees looking skyward and north up Prospect Street. Another DAZZLING night out!

For the 2022 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, this separate Crow Count was 13,750 Crows. In 2021, the CBC Andover Circle Crow Count was 12,250. 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, while outside next to the roost, to carefully document our observations and to significantly increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers. Please refer to our new roost counting guide on main page.

Remember to check out the latest Crow Patrol Podcast with John Macone (Merrimack River Watershed Council): wintercrowroost.com/podcast/

Photo gear used for most outings:

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 EOS R6 Mirrorless with Canon RF 28-70 f/2 L IS USM 

Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless with Canon RF 50 f/1.2 L USM 

Sony AX700 4K HDR Camcorder

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Blog post and photos by Craig Gibson, 2023 Crow Patrol