Conditions: mostly cloudy, wind W 10 MPH, temp at 40F; sunset time 5:07PM
Out on Crow Patrol with first stop along Marston Street with first flight streams coming in from the south just before sunset time. The Crows always announce their arrival with wild vocalizations. This image below was capture two minutes before sunset time.
Additional flight streams followed and started to settle in around the extended Prospect Hill water tower area and nearby Storrow Park. With park renovations underway, much of the area is blocked off with temporary chain link fencing. The elevated view looking west provides terrific looks out over the city. This images shows the Crows assembling in hillside tree tops about 20 minutes after sunset time.
Observations were made both by water tower and below on Prospect Street as large swarms continued to arrive with ongoing loud vocalizations and intermittent flight bursts. This view is looking slightly to the NW as many of the Crows are moving from perch location trees to the right, and making a subtle final shift to the overnight roost trees closer to the Merrimack River and the major intersection below. This image was captured about 21 minutes after sunset time.
A few minutes later, the Crows launch into yet another exhilarating flight burst with boisterous vocalizations. Again, the subtle movement is to the south, just a bit, as they consolidate in roost trees on the hillside close to the curve by Prospect and Marston Streets. This continues to be the favorite spot for the past 4+ weeks. Another dazzling Crow Show!
The 2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, for this separate Crow Count was 12,250 Crows. Last year, the2020 CBC Andover Circle Crow Count was 15,200. 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 to carefully document our observations and to increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers.
Remember to check out the latest Crow Patrol Podcast with Prof. John Kricher: wintercrowroost.com/podcast/
Photo gear used for this outing:
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 1DX MK II with Canon EF Telephoto Zoom 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Sony AX700 4K HDR Camcorder
ATN BinoX 4K Smart HD Binoculars with photo/video
Follow us on Instagram: wintercrowroost
Follow us on YouTube: birdsoftheair1
Blog post and photos by Craig Gibson, 2022 Crow Patrol