Dec. 19, 2022 under mostly cloudy, wind NW 13MPH, gusts 20MPH, temp 38F; sunset time 4:12PM
On Crow Patrol along Marston Street as the initial group of Crows arrived and perched on tree tops with heaviest grouping right above intersection. A trickle of Crows kept arriving until the incoming flight streams picked up full force around 10 minutes after sunset time with steady stream coming in from the south, coming around east end of Marston Medical building, and merging into the east end of the roost trees. This image captured at 8 minutes post sunset.
About 15 minutes later, huge numbers came charging in from the NW towards the hospital. The roost came alive with tumultuous vocalizations. The flight bursts were very limited likely due to the heavy winds. This image captured at 28 minutes post sunset.
An hour after sunset time, large numbers were seen settling in along the Spicket River by the hospital parking lot, with a number of flight bursts. This image captured at 70 minutes post sunset time.
Before leaving, had a nice look at the very dense packing of Crows in the roost, particularly at lower elevations. Another amazing night out!
For the 2022 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Andover Circle, this separate Crow Count was 13,750 Crows. In 2021, the CBC Andover Circle Crow Count was 12,250. 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.
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 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