This afternoon Bob and I got to Lawrence about 4 PM – a bit later than usual. It was 3o degrees and the wind was 18 mph from the northwest but the sky in the west was lit by a bright sunset. We got to New Balance by driving down Market St. along the South Common where there were 2000 crows on the ground many feeding amongst that straw they put down after the moved out the trailers.  Few were in the tree tops because of the wind we suspect. From the New Balance Parking lot, birds were coming from the north heading towards the park. We chose to check out South Canal St. – no birds in the National Grid or truck depot; so it was on to Pemberton Park – no birds and then to our favorite pull in off of Rt. 28 on the northwest side of the bridge. A few were to our west and we could see flocks moving towards the park on the south side up over the tree tops.  Then it was back to the Park. We drove fully around the park and could see many more on the ground, a few Fish Crows even on a side street eating little red berries from a dwarf flowering cherry tree I believe. Birds were also gathering on the roof tops but being down on the street as opposed to being up in the parking garage it did not give us a good vantage point to see the roof tops.

We then drove to South Canal St. off of Merrimack St. (the little dirt, rutted “street” and turned around and faced ESE where we could watch the action of the crows as they moved to the roost. Well, at 4:45 pm the show started.  For the next 25 minutes wave upon wave of crows poured over Merrimack St. First it seemed as if they came from the park but as time went on they were lifting off the roof of the B & D Warehouse. This was the perfect spot and night for Bob to count from. By 5 pm it was getting darker but with the lights from the surrounding buildings, you could still see them pouring over – all 26,000 of them; yes, 26,000!  I could see them from my side as they passed by the old clock tower over New Balance with its now lit face.  They streamed around the western corner of the New Balance building with the thin line of roost trees lining the river below.

How many times have I seen the phenomena?  Ah, yes many!!! But it still continues to impress and astound you how it can differ each night. You must come to see it and come back to see how it changes if you have been before.

Remember to:

check out our blog:

dress very warmly and bring your binoculars

Visit the Essex Art Gallery at 56 Island St. to see the all crow exhibit (opening tonight 5-7 pm and the Monday to Friday 10-6 until March 15th

Plan to help the local merchants who lost so much during the gas problems – we have a restaurant list and if you need shoes or running apparel, New Balance is right there.

The next crow patrol is SUNDAY January 13th meeting at 3:30 PM in the New Balance Parking Lot on So. Union St.

Do let me know if you are coming

North Andover, MA