Feb. 21, 2024: under mostly clear skies, wind SE 8MPH, temp 34F; sunset time 5:24PM

Made a visit with hopes of finding the local overnight Crow roost. After initial stops along east side of the Merrimack River from Amoskeag Falls down to bridge at Granite Street, moved to west side of river with more scouting stops from Notre Dame Bridge up to Amoskeag Bridge; not a single Crow to be found anywhere. At 5:45, made a quick stop for water, then headed north to the cloverleaf that leads up to Amoskeag Street, and while making the loop at north end, looked up, and discovered over 2000 Crows converging into trees on both sides of Front Street at Amoskeag Street.

There were a number of flight bursts out over the cloverleaf area with rush hour traffic buzzing by, and highway traffic just below, as the Crows settled in for the night. Quite a show!

For the 2023 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, this separate Crow Count was 11,600 total Crows, including American Crows and Fish Crows. In 2022, the CBC Andover Circle Crow Count was 13,750. 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.

The Canon mirrorless cameras with the RF 50mm f/1.2 lens and the RF 28-70mm F2 excel in low-light conditions, blending versatile focal lengths with an ultra-wide aperture. Both focal lengths work extremely well in very low light conditions, while the f/1.2  and F2 aperture settings ensure exceptional performance in low light conditions, offering stunning clear, and aesthetically pleasing images, making them ideal for the challenging very low light conditions around the overnight roost.

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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