Oct. 23, 2023: overcast skies with some breaks, wind NW 3MPH, temp 54F; sunset time 5:50PM
Out on Crow Patrol up and down Merrimack Street, Pemberton Park and Mill240 complex with Crows staging and vocalizing all around but mostly within a 1/4 mile radius of the overnight roost trees; staging on the ground and rooftops. After scouting out a number of nearby staging locations, moved to the Mill240 park area with great views up and down the Merrimack River. Many Crows were seen raiding the fresh berries from trees in the park.
Minutes later the eastern edge of the Mill242 roof edge became filled with perched Crows landing and vocalizing in the midst of final staging activities before making their way across the river to the overnight roost.
With the addition of aerial views, we have an entirely new perspective on staging movements and behaviors near the overnight roost trees . Located on South Canal Street, the local National Grid substation has been a very regular site for staging prior to movement to the overnight roost. This aerial view shows quite a buildup of Crows on the building rooftop, outdoor fixtures that support the site, utility wires, and on the ground. This image at 19 minutes after sunset time.
A bit farther back to the south across Merrimack Street, we also see the remaining buildup of staging Crows on the B&D Warehousing roof top before the moving in flight towards the overnight roost area. This is also a very regular nearby staging location. This image capture 20 minutes after sunset time.
Finally, we’re able to just get a peek at a number of Crows atop the roof on the red brick New Balance building. This is another regular staging location with the Crows simply descending in flight into the roost trees below after dark.
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.
For all aerial documentary films with migratory and/or wintering birds or other wildlife, advance project planning and aerial imaging flight mission protocols are subject to rigorous review for flight and perch behaviors, use of high resolution/optical zoom optics, overly cautious altitude/buffer zone levels, and low noise signature levels; all to avoid even the smallest disturbance on migratory and/or wintering birds.
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