Stunning sunset colors!

Dec. 5, 2022 under mostly clear skies, wind S 3MPH, temp at 47F; sunset time 4:11PM

On Crow Patrol scouting out staging locations along Merrimack Street, then over to the Mill240 building complex and park on west side. At 6 minutes after sunset time, observed a spectacular flight stream coming in from the SW and passing by the Cube Smart storage building, all against background sky filled with stunning sunset colors. This image captured at 10 minutes post sunset time.

The bulk of the arriving flight stream lasted about 10 minutes with many Crows diverting and converging onto the roof of the New Balance building before drifting down onto the overnight roost trees below. This image about 14 minutes post sunset time.

At close to twenty minutes past sunset time, many of the Crows had settled into the tree tops along the north side of the New Balance building with many more still perched along the north edge of the roost at New Balance.

Moved over to Prospect St. area for great looks at Crows consolidating in the overnight roost with rowdy vocalizations. This image was captured above the main roost area located in the SW corner of Prospect Hill. This image at the Geisler Pool complex captured almost an hour after sunset time. Amazing action!

For the 2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, this separate Crow Count was 12,250 Crows. In 2020, the 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 significantly increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers. 

Remember to check out the latest Crow Patrol Podcast with John Macone (Merrimack River Watershed Council):

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 1DX MK II with Canon EF Telephoto Zoom 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless with Canon RF 24-70 f/2.8 L IS USM Lens

Sony AX700 4K HDR Camcorder

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Blog post and photos by Craig Gibson, 2022 Crow Patrol