The Winter Crow Roost is back in full swing with growing numbers each week! We are now able to once again search and collect ejected Crow pellet samples from areas near the overnight communal roost.
Once again, we are making a big effort to search for and discover the pellets left behind by the Crows. According to Birds of North America Online,the Crows “cast pellets, about 15 mm long and 7 mm wide (n = 3), throughout day and in roosts; pellets contain indigestible, sclerotized parts of insects, chaff, pits, bones, and eggshells. They typically ejects pellets 4–8 h after food is eaten.”
The Winter Crow Roost in Lawrence, MA has provided a terrific and easy to access opportunity to collect ejected crow pellets. Each night in the winter months, the crows gather for the overnight roost along the Merrimack River. As part of the final steps in the staging process, they are seen in growing numbers on the ground of the truck depot parking lot and in an adjacent lot at the National Grid substation next door. As the crows assemble on the ground at each location, they regurgitate pellets from feeding earlier in the day. These pellets may be bright orange to dark brown, and all colors in between. This year, as last year, there are many mornings where the crows have left behind a large number of pellets which makes collection a much easier task. Here is one of the pellets above with a quarter for sizing comparison. More on the pellets in a post next few weeks!