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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      1. Have you noticed any foraging flocks in your area?  What time of year did you see them? Describe the habitat.  Could you estimate the size?
      2. Have you seen other birds form large flocks?  Do you know what they were?
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    • Patrick
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      PatrickHearn
      1. I have seen flocks of 100+ foraging on grass fields at the back of the farm this fall, outside Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. 2. Canada Geese and Starlings both also form large flocks of 100+ birds during the fall in this area.
    • S
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      smarcus22
      Yes, here in Chicago, along the lakefront, on Northerly Island we saw a huge gathering of crows who were foraging as a flock in the tall grasses and wild flowers that flourished in early October, 2020. Usually we see them in family groupings and the sight of them chatting, playing, and foraging was a delight.
    • Bonnie Lee
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      notneb64
      I haven't observed any foraging crow flocks in our area of Western NY but have observed large flocks of other birds in the last few weeks. Starlings? Sparrows? We live along a large creek that empties into Lake Ontario so some geese are present year around but large groups are very active spring and fall. Bonnie
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      CCavanah
      I haven't sen foraging flocks in my area. I do see other birds in flocks. like starlings, and Canada geese. Others, too, but I haven't identified them.
    • Elaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Elaine0421
      1.  I have not noticed a group of crows larger than about seven in my yard at one time.  I believe this to be a family, the same family that has been living behind my house for a number of years now. 2.  Yes, once a large flock of redwing black birds landed at my feeders.  I believe they were migrating.  There must have been about 40 birds in the flock.RedwingBlackbirds
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      kbandeen
      1. Rarely--but just this morning I saw a group of ~25 cawing and agitating in the trees bordering the street on which we live. 2. Our largest flocks are common grackles--we've had more than 100 at a time swarm our backyard, often with 10-20 red-winged blackbirds and starlings and a few cowbirds mixed in.
    • Ticia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ticiam
      I used to work on the tree crew for the city (Lanc. Pa).  People would call and complain about the crows roosting in a nearby tree and covering their car(s) in "waste".  It really can be pretty bad.  Anyway, we would have to hang a fake crow (upside down) in the offending tree.  This actually worked.  They would move to another area.  Am loving this course, thanks,  Ticia
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      djohnson6141
      1. yes, in cornfields I have seen foraging flocks. . I will pay more attention next time to the number of crows I see.It is  definitely after harvest because the cornfields are plucked clean. 2. The other flocks I've seen are Grackles and Cranes.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      SueAlameda
      I have a wonderful flock of bushtits that visits my birdbath periodically.  I have seen up to 15 at one time in the birdbath plus more hopping around in the bushes next to the birdbath.  Those are hard to count because I mostly see the leaves shaking as they hop from branch to branch.  They are a little larger than ping pong balls so even though there are many in number the overall flock size is pretty small.
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Lemmolo
      I have seen an incredibly large congregation three years in a row from my office in SF.   Several hundred birds gather at dusk at the old SF post office on Mission street in December for several days.   They appear to all have their place to land in some kind of pecking order on the building and in the trees.   Needless to say, the morning after the sidewalk is quite messy :) In Montauk, we have black and grey seagulls, they congregate (usually about 40 or 50 at a time) on a certain area in the beach and sit facing the sun.     If one moves...they all move. I have also seen a swarm of barn swallows come in to check out our feeder in Montauk. And as many as 15 to 20 grackles in one group.
    • Dorothy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1saltforkriver
      We usually see a flock of robins in the spring who spend about one week with us and move on.  This summer we have had killdeers nesting in the yard of our farm home which is in the middle of two wheat fields and back by grassed area.  A group of Barn Swallows have nested at least twice on the house this summer.  Have also had two hatchings of Eastern Bluebirds in yard.
    • Dorothy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1saltforkriver
      We have seen flocks of 6 to 12 in late spring and last of September for several years.  They play around in our yard and in the wheat fields that are planted to wheat.  They seem to be making a twice a year visit.
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        cpennisi
        Sounds like you must live farther north or south, so they are migrating thru...
    • Vicki g
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      vickigoldsmith
      I have missed the foraging flocks - I have seen just one this summer, on a lawn near an ocean beach. I am happy to learn that I may expect and upswing quite soon with fall - in fact, this explains why I associate the sound of many crows WITH autumn!
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        cpennisi
        I wonder if you live farther north, so the crows are migrating thru in fall, heading south...
    • Shea
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      runnerboy13
      1. Yes, only really in the fall and spring, I don't really know why. The size of the flocks are probably over 850 individuals.
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        cpennisi
        Sounds like more crows migrate than my bird book leads me to believe... This might be a good research project, to study more closely the migrational behavior of crows.
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      hummingraven
      I live in the Northwest of NJ in a rural area surrounded by farms. I have a family of crows that live somewhere around my house (I think there are 7 currently and for the last two years), but see flocks foraging in the nearby farm fields. They are usually more noticeable in large numbers in the fall and winter. These flocks can be anywhere from 30 - 100+. Interestingly there are never any large flocks in the corn field that backs up to my house... I guess, from what I'm learning here, that's because 'my' family of crows is territorial and keeps them away...?
    • Debra
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      naturgal
      1. I have not seen large flocks of foraging crows, only families I guess. There are only 3-4 in my area right now. 2. I see a large flock of Canada geese at my closest large park. In the past, in an urban area, I used to see flocks of starlings, pigeons and during certain times of the year, grackles with a few red winged blackbirds mixed in.
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        cpennisi
        I used to see large flocks of starlings in my backyard, but not anymore; I don't mind since they hogged the bird feeders, but I do hope that they have just found better feeding grounds and not that the nos. are in trouble locally; now mainly I have large flocks of house sparrows, which are also feeder pigs (using my new bird house has not helped the situation); but you have to hand it to house sparrows; they are also very adaptable!
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kweymouth
      I have noticed foraging flocks in my area. My family aggressively protects their territory consisting of 50+ acres. There are two other family groups near by. They all seem to forage down the road in a very large open field (100+ acres). This behavior is consistent throughout the year with the addition of the Crows tricking the other birds about the location of their true nest during breeding season. I see migrating Crows in November. I am assuming they go as far as Massachusetts for the winter and that they come from Canada. They never stop in our area just go overhead in a large flock.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      roquech
      In the 1980s, I used to sit on my porch near dusk and watch crows pass over head heading back home.  It was a fairly constant flow considering that I live in Southern CA.  Over the decades I noticed that there were fewer and fewer instances of seeing/hearing "streams" of crows at night or morning for that matter.  Just recently (over the last 5 years), I have once again noticed crows heading west toward the evening.  Just a couple of days ago, around 4 pm, there was a nice flow of crows heading west.  What happened to the populations from the 1980s and why are crows now making a comeback even with urban sprawl? I used to wonder and still do wonder where there home might be...
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      I have seen pigeons, going from one house to the other. Crossing/Flying over the streets. Always the same two houses, for months/years. I have seen some crows' nests, in the center/top, of trees. I have never seen a huge roost/flock of crows. Always 10-15 max.
    • Tara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Hallsterfam
      I haven't seen a large foraging flock, however recently (September) on the edge of Lake Ontario there was a roost of about 20 crows resting in some trees overlooking the lake to one side and a field of goldenrod/marsh to the other. It was late afternoon and the weather was quite solemn but beautifully peaceful. They were totally silent and resting. As for other birds in large flocks - murmurations of starlings or foraging on lawns, ring billed gulls, Canada geese, and a flock of 12 vultures flew over my neighbourhood late summer.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      raheagle
      1.  I haven't noticed any foraging flocks too much where I live, but close to the nearby city of Watertown, NY, I have observed large forager groups on the outskirts of the city during the day in fall/winter, mostly near cleared off farm fields.  The last several winters the city has hired a company to then come and break up large groups of crows that then return to the city at night.  I can observe this behavior when I am driving mostly, and you can actually see the crows heading back into the city when night comes. 2.  I have seen other groups of blackbirds do the same in late summer/fall, such as starlings, both in town and out in the fields.  In spring large blackbird groups can be observed with some of the returning species, like grackles and red-winged blackbirds together in the same group.  Now that's a noisy congregation!
    • Ben
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      bfmcleod
      #1  I worked with a specific family of crows along north Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.  "My" crows recognized a few calls and would respond to me.  However, in the spring and fall I would notice larger gatherings of crows up and down the lakeshore.  When I would give out the calls my family recognized, inevitably one or two or more crows would respond, and usually come to see what I was doing.  This behavior would lead others in the larger flock to also become curious and approach me. This indication of detailed communications between different families was amazing to me.
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        cpennisi
        How cool is that!
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Skentch
      Yeah, in the evening they steam south past my house to their special spot down by the water. There is a wetlands by where they hang out in the evening, but there is also a four lane road. Lots of trees. Tall trees. The flock is huge -- a couple of hundred.   Mostly see this in the fall but maybe that is just cause I am outside and notice. Here in the northwest we have snow geese that flock and swans (trumpeter?).
    • June
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      pearl2
      I live in Beaverton, Oregon. My crow family visits my back yard every day for scraps and I have observed them for about 6 years.  This summer, there was mom, dad and 3 youngsters begging for food. At times I have seen approximately 10-15 individuals waiting for handouts. I take out breakfast for them every morning and sometimes in the evening. One particular crow sits on my fence, patiently waiting.  This crow will make a "clicking" sound at me, in an attempt to communicate.  I have seen the youngsters sitting together on the grass observing their parents searching for grubs. There are large flocks of crows occupying trees in downtown Portland that are quite amazing to see during the evening.
    • KATHRYN
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      KatCrow
      There is a fairly constant size group/family group of a bout 10-12 Crows that spend most of the daylight hours in my neighborhood. There are quite a few tall Oaks and Pines as well as a lot of shrubbery - suburban landscape with fences between yards and lots of bird feeders and bird baths. They seem to be around all year, probably because I live in North East FL. As far as larger flocks, I have noticed in the past at my last job when I would be driving home around 5-5:30 pm, large groups of Crows would be coming West to East toward a large stand of very tall trees near the edge of a business park. Thought maybe they were going there to roos or it might have been a " meet up area" before all flying off to roost.
    • Larry
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Kestrel512
      Each of the last 2 Octobers I've seen 2-300 crows flying near Pueblo, CO.  They are spread out, seemingly migrating towards the southeast. Twice each year we get flocks of Yellow-headed Blackbirds migrating through Otero County, CO, they hang around cattle feed lots for a week or so.  But what I want to know, seemingly they all have yellow heads and are therefore all males.  Or am I wrong about that?  Where are the females?
      • Lee Ann van Leer
        Bird Academy
        LilacRoller
        Hello Larry, Are you looking at these flocks with the naked eye or with binoculars or a scope? During Spring migration the male Yellow-headed Blackbirds migrate earlier than the females and arrive on their breeding grounds a full 7-14 days ahead of the females. However, females do have yellow on the head. The females have a duller yellow on the head and sometimes bright yellow only on the face and bib area. From a distance or without optics both males and females might look similarly yellow-headed. Males have brighter yellow on head,face, and chest. However since the males migrate sooner than females in the Spring you might be seeing a migrating flock of only males. Males arrive earlier than females in order to establish territories. Furthermore the northernmost wintering populations are mostly males and the southernmost wintering populations are females. Range Map for Yellow-headed Blackbirds
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      susangreta
      I notice 20 - 30 birds (crows) foraging in peoples' yards up at the Cape (Cod) in the late summer, early fall. They were wary of people but easy to watch from the car by the curb. They fly down and back to usually borders of high pine trees. These kind of flocks are common on our part of the Cape. The other birds I notice on Cape Cod that form large flocks are a kind of swallow that form large swarming and swooping flocks around Labor Day weekend - they congregate for a short time - one or two days - then disappear.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      dlahaise
      I am originally from Massachusetts but now live in Georgia. When I was in MA, I remember seeing (and hearing about) very large flocks of crows going to roost in the evening. This would be in the fall and the winter. People often complained about them. In GA, I have not witnessed such large flocks. It may be because I don't live in an area where large roosts form. Is is possible that birds in the southeast don't form the massive flocks I've seen in the Northeast? I realize I am talking about a roost here and not a "socializing" flock. Both in MA and in GA I have seen large flocks of red-winged blackbirds, often in early spring. I also used to see massive flocks of starlings going to roost in MA.
      • Lee Ann van Leer
        Bird Academy
        LilacRoller
        Hi Diane, That is a good question about roosts and regions. American Crows do form large roosting flocks in the winter in Georgia, so you must not have been at the right place and time to see one. The roosts are at night. The largest flock  in the eBird records for Georgia is 1,100 crows at Fite Bend Rd. (Gordon County) on Dec. 31, 2013. Near some silos, and agriculture fields. For this year the largest flock was reported to eBird so far was 600 crows on January 4th, 2019 on Trimble Hollow Road near the intersection with Rt 3/41 north of Adairsville, GA. This is agriculture field. In 2018 the largest American Crow roost was 160 crows on Brandon Farm & Taff Road, East of Stilesboro on Feb. 2, 2018. This spot is by some animal barns and agriculture fields. It can be sometimes very hard to find the crow roosts in smaller cities or in the country as they happen at night and sometimes you just have to happen upon them. People don't report them to eBird as much as they might other types of birds and people don't do as much night time eBirding either.  Even here in Ithaca, NY where we study the crows it can take us days, weeks, or months of driving around to find the crow roost in the winter. However that is because we don't keep looking every single night. It typically takes me from 1-7 different attempts to find the roost in winter.  The instructor isn't available this week but when he returns I'll ask him if a regional difference in roost sizes has been noticed. Thanks for asking. Given that the three high counts mentioned above for Georgia were near agriculture fields these might have been foraging flocks instead of night roosts but I don't have the time of day of the reports handy.   Too find where the high counts of crows have been spotted in your state or county go to ebird.org/explore   High Count page and put in your location. Then it asks the date range. Once you get that data scroll down until you see American Crow.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      caburnett
      1) I haven’t particularly noticed large groups of crows in my area. 2) I have noticed large groups of Canada geese, house sparrows, starlings and common grackles
    • Jonquele
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      jonquele
      1. The largest group of crows that I noted in eBird was 30 last Oct in Fort Worth. I had very few observations that exceeded 10 all year long. 2. We frequently have large flocks of vultures, enormous gathering of grackles/blackbirds/starlings (especially in fall & winter), cattle egrets. I saw a huge flock of migrating waterbirds (1000's) attacked by a pair of hawks over Laguna Madre (Corpus Christi) at Christmas 2 years ago. The biggest flock surprise to me this past March was a flock of 100+ American Robins in my neighbors' trees, and my holly hedge, at the same time 200+ Cedar Waxwings occupied the remaining trees on either side of my yard. The trees were just smothered in birds and the noise was unbelievable. I didn't know that Robins flocked up in winter. The robins stayed in the area for several days before moving on. There were very few holly berries left by the time everyone left. Some robins even tried to play hummingbird to reach berries on the sides of the hedge.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      MPage815
      I was on an organized birding trip to Colorado this April, and we encountered a huge and noisy mixed flock in a stockyard in southeastern Colorado. Though there were multiple species, they seemed to group with their own kind within the larger congregation. Our guide created an eBird list with these estimates: 150 Yellow-headed Blackbirds, 50 Red-winged Blackbirds, 300 starlings and 5 Common Grackles, adding 300 more birds as “blackbird sp” because it was impossible to ID them all in such a mass! We had a phenomenal crow roost here in the Northeast this past winter that was mind-blowing. It was along the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Massachusetts right among the old mill buildings. A nightly extravaganza of many thousands of crows streaming in to roost the night.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      PattyMac_58
      I see hudreds of them in cornfields outside of town
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      elydick
      I've seen moderate sized groups foraging on lawns and around houses, but never large flocks of 200 or so.  I do see enormous congregations in the evenings as they head for roosts or just gather and talk.  We do have enormous flocks of gulls who head to the landfills every morning.
    • Ron G.
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      RonG1945
      Ques. #1 - I’ve seen large groups of black birds on lawns pecking in the grass.  But, I think they might be too small.  Could it be a flock of baby crows?
      • Peggy
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        MPage815
        Once baby crows are able  to fly (and join a flock like the one on your lawn), they are the same size as adult crows. In fact, this is true of most birds. Birds old enough to fly have also grown to their adult size. I suspect your flocks of smaller birds are either blackbirds or grackles, or starlings, or a mix of all of the above! Regardless of species, they are amazing to watch.
    • Desiree
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Weeziehupy
      I have seen large gatherings of crows at Audubon Park and close to the park in a tree by the Mississippi river. Audubon attracts a lot of birds all year around. We can almost always find big groups of ibises there. Once in spring when I was walking my dog we saw a group of little parrots descend on a Japanese plum tree. They were very noisy and very beautiful. I’d heard about that flock, but that was the only time I’ve seen them.
    • Cyrus
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      RhodeC
      I.  No. 2.  Canadian geese, Florida Sandhill Cranes, blackbirds, Purple Martins, Robins
    • Jen
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      tweettweet
      1.  I have a family of crows that I have watched in my yard that appear to be teaching the younger generations to forage during the summer.  I have seen a flock foraging in corn fields once the crop has been cut in the fall. 2. Last fall while looking for snow geese during their migration and stop over in the Lake Champlain Valley, I witnessed a huge flock of red-winged blackbirds.  They literally blackened the sky where they flew.  They landed in several large trees that had shed there leaves and filled them. When they were in flight they flew in such tight formation they appeared to be an art form. I  also regularly see flocks of Canada geese, cedar waxwings, blue jays, and turkeys, but no where near the size of the crows, snow geese, or red-winged blackbirds.
    • Sherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      sherrybay
      I have noticed foraging flocks in farm fields in the fall. The most common flocks I see are of Canada geese: in school athletic fields, on golf courses, or by the river.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      James949
      I have seen large groups but I don't know that they were foraging as they were not on the ground. It was more like a "meeting" in the sycamore behind my yard. I believe it was fall or early winter because the tree was bare of leaves. The other flocks that I have seen in my yard were wild parrots and Cedar wax wings. I have also seen groups of pigeons and black birds "brewers?" or "red wing?" on the now weed covered ex dump that is out by the San Francisco bay.
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