Flight bursts!!

Feb. 21, 2023 under heavy overcast skies, wind E 5MPH, temp 36F; sunset time 5:23PM

On Crow Patrol with initial scouting stops on streets around top of Prospect Hill with many tree tops filling up with arriving Crows. Moved down to lower Marston Street 10 minutes before sunset time. Initial incoming flight streams were heavy coming in from the south behind the Marston Medical building. Image at 9 minutes post sunset time.

Large numbers were gathering in tree tops along  the east side of Prospect Street near the hospital. After a huge buildup by the hospital, flight streams moved in southerly direction towards the trees around the Marston/Prospect intersection. Image at 13 minutes post sunset time.

After an impressive buildup of Crows gathering in the tree tops for the overnight communal roost, watched a flight sweep from left to right, past the Prospect hill water tower as they consolidated opposite the Marston Medical building. Image a bit later at 40 minutes post sunset time.

As the Crows settled in, they made a number of dramatic looping flight bursts and then returned to the roost trees. Another dazzling night!

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 II Mirrorless with Canon RF 50 f/1.2 L USM 

Sony AX700 4K HDR Camcorder

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