• Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      1. Have you seen any roosting areas in your neighborhood or town?  Describe them. What time of year is it? Why do you think the crows have selected this spot?  What resources are nearby?
      2. What thoughts come to mind when you see a large group of crows coming to roost?
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    • Elisabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      1.  We have a huge crow roosting area near Mount St Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  You can see clouds of birds flying into the area from all directions beginning around twilight during the fall, winter and early spring.  There is a large open field there that has many trees to one side. 2. I think of the changing seasons when I see the crows going to roost and how amazing it is to see the vast numbers of them heading to the same area.  It’s comforting.
    • Lux
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      It seems like all the biggest roosts or at least the documented ones are in the Northeast US.  Searching on ebird, the most i found documented in Georgia, US was 2000 a few years ago.  This year the high count is 110.  And I'm not sure if those were foraging or roosting.  Do crows roost in large numbers less in the southeast? Because its warmer? Or is it just documented less?  Curious if anyone knows why and/or knows of big roosts you can find in the south. Thanks!
    • Katherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      How far do crows range (for food, roosting sites, whatever) each day?  I have not seen it, but there are credible reports of roosts of 250,000 birds in nearby Minneapolis in the winter, and this class mentions roosts of up to 2 million birds.  How can they find enough food, especially if/when there is heavy snow cover (making it harder to find seeds and grain on the ground) and bitterly cold temperatures (increasing the calories needed to maintain body temperature)?  Even if they share information (or follow one another to food sources), that many birds must require a lot of food!  Is there any research that sheds light on how they find enough food when they gather in such large numbers? In my yard, about 20 miles NE of Minneapolis, I have never had a large crow roost, although I do get small numbers of crows regularly throughout the year.  I have a variety of foods available for all the birds; year-round, the crows only seem interested in suet.
    • Mike
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I don't  think that my rural area is advantageous for large crow roosting.  We have old growth hardwoods but not as many deciduous trees.  The Mississippi River flows through the area and it's a major flight way for mostly migratory water fowl and increasingly the American Bald Eagle.  I see many eagles far inland from the river and I wonder if increasing Eagle numbers are affecting the local crow population.
    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Years ago when I lived in Portland, ME I'd see the crows gathering to roost in the winter. I didn't actually see where they would roost, but I'd see them passing through at dusk, thousands of them filling the sky passing over Deering Oaks area toward Back Cove or the east end of the city, or maybe even toward Falmouth (the next town over) which would not be very far as the crow flies. Portland had a lot of trees for shelter, and there was the coastline for foraging, not to mention the thousands of dumpsters in the city... it had everything crows needed, so they came in great numbers in the winter. The rest of the year there were fewer crows, in small family groups watching the city from the trees.  
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Regarding the choice of some roosts occurring out in the open vs. hidden away in lush trees: Does the size of the roost make a difference? Would individuals in a larger roost feel safer out in the open (safety in numbers)? Or does it have to do with site availability? Are there more open/sparsely vegetated trees in the areas that were studied? Regarding the movement of flocks/roosts to the cities: In addition to the reasons listed in the video, are birds moving to the cities in response to habitat loss and degradation (have nowhere else to go)?
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Crows roost in our neighborhood and our yard every winter for the past several years! There are certainly hundreds of them. Our neighborhood is older with many tall trees, and a park with many trees. That probably attracts them. Our city is about 200,00 people and is surrounded by farms and small towns, so it is probably an attractive area for the wintering crows! it is very loud in the evening and early morning!
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      We occasionally have a roosting in the winter next to the golf course, lots of noise early in the morning.  We do have crows all year, I think there is more than one family that lives around the area of the housing development of 750 acres. Besides the golf course there is a 45 acre lake. We also have many large pines and balsams, as well as acorn and nut bearing deciduous trees, for the crows and other birds to roost in for year round protection.  So, the area has much to offer the crows, that is why I always have crows to count when using eBird. Before this course I thought that large groups of crows were because of predator location and the mob would chase off the predator. I have learned now that large roosts are a common part of crow behavior.
    • Gracklefeeder1
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Have yet to see crows in my area, but the Pigeon Swarms as I call them are the most amazing thing to see. I think there's only something like 100-150, but it's better than fireworks. An organic fireworks display that shows the beauty of creation. The sound of multiple birds taking flight is also a marvel for me.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Our local Audubon chapter runs a trip to Springfield, MA every February where the crows roost in one of the hospital parking lots (they don't always choose the same one). They seem to like the lights that surround the lots. We go to a couple of the staging areas first, and then on to the roosting spot. The last time I went the estimate was 7000-10,000 birds. It was mind blowing! The trees surrounding the lot looked as though they had suddenly grown leaves, and the noise was deafening. The bright lights offer protection from predators, and perhaps warmth. There is also lots of trash to pick at in the urban environment. I love crows and the chance to see so many all at once was pure joy.
    • Rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have seen large groups of crows in my area. To be honest, I never paid much attention to the time of year but now I think it is in the winter months. I live in Copper Canyon Texas north of the Dallas area. My property backs up to Army Corp of Engineering property which is part of Lewisville Lake flood plain. There are many trees that could be used for roosting on the Corp property and of course the lake or water is nearby also In the evenings a large group of Crows (maybe 150-200) will take turns holding a large meeting in one of our 2 acre lots. They begin gathering around 4 or 4:30 and become very vocal. One crow will rise up and Caw loudly and then several others will join in. My Aunt once told me about this behavior and said it reminded her of a large meeting and perhaps they were discussing the day's activities. Near sunset they all fly off mainly to the Corp property. I have made a note to observe what time of the year it starts because now I realize it is not happening during the summer or breeding time.    
    • 1. In the winter, I have seen many pre-roosts, usually about 20 crows at a time, in different locations in my town. I have mainly seen these pre-roosts in a few nature preserve areas and I think the crows are drawn to them because there is a lot of tree cover, food opportunity, and water access. However, I don't know where their final roost locations are and what draws them there. 2. My main thought when seeing crows roosting together is that it is really cool! You don't get to see that many birds coming together to roost like crows. I also wonder what crows are thinking when they roost and if they have favorite friends to roost with.
    • Veronica
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      When I lived in Saginaw, Michigan, I loved watching the crows flying in from the farm fields in the evening as I drove home from work.  They liked to congregate on Ojibway Island, which is a park area in the city along the Saginaw River.  This small island has many large trees for the crows to roost in.  I saw the largest numbers of crows flying in during the fall and winter.  I would then see them leaving in the morning to head back out to the countryside.  I found them fascinating to watch.  I often thought of it as a crow convention, and thought of them having conversations as they shared details of their day or caught up with friends.   Before sunset, the roost was very active, with much movement and crows calling to each other.
    • Donita
      Participant
      Chirps: 80
      1. I haven't seen any of these large roosting going on. 2.  The Birds of course!  But that doesn't really frighten me.   I would probably slowly approach to see how close I can get!
    • I have not seen such large roost since moving to Utah but remember them from my time in Iowa and Pennsylvania.  As Kevin mentioned, I made associations with Hitchcock's movie as a reference my mind had stored away.  I never felt threatened, was fascinated and certainly noticed the 'mess' they made.
    • Janine
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      There is a large roost of crows (in the 1000s) near my home in the Hudson Valley, NY next to a dump.  The crows and seagulls take turns feeding from the dump.  There are many other smaller flocks that also roost and feed there.  TVs also feed from the dump and there are plenty of raptors (eagles, hawks and ospreys).  I originally thought the raptors were hunting the crows but I think they eat from the dump as well.  It is very very noisy and the crows make up most of the noise.  I think there may be ravens as well but I am not sure.
    • Gwen
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      I don't often notice or find crow roosts other than in the cemetery. but when I do see them, my first thought is usually that they seem to be hanging out with friends. some are talking, others are playing and chasing each other described in the video, as a sleepover of sorts. I never knew they pre-roosted together, and that some wouldn't stay for the sleepover. It's really interesting how some are for taking cover, while others sit in the open.
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      RoostingTree Pictured is a large tree full of a mixed species roost of smaller birds, such as sparrows and bulbuls.  But on another occasion, in a few palm trees nearby, I witnessed a large roost of grey-necked crows.  The environment is a well-lit golf course, and the roosting trees were next door to the terrace of a bar/restaurant, which I believe is a draw as a food source.  It was winter in the UAE, and it can get quite chilly, although only in the low 50's F in this area.  Still, perhaps warmth was also a motivating factor.  Information sharing would also be valuable, since the area is also urban and there are diverse feeding opportunities to discover.  ... I think crows are fascinating to observe, and I've always thought birds were "sharing" somehow when they chirp and vocalize during communal roosts.
    • Thomas
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My property is a roosting site, especially in the late Fall and early Winter. I have a number of large red spruce trees and the y love congregating in the upper reaches of those very tall, old trees.
    • Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      2. I’ve never personally seen crows roosting to be a “bad omen” or some kind of sinister action; I don’t get many large. Roosts around where I live, so judging from the few large gatherings I’ve seen, they give the impression of a spectacle of nature.
    • james
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I have found one roosting area in a city where i work.  There is a large acreage of woodland in the center of a dense urban area. As a shift worker, i find myself parked near the woodland sometimes in the early hours, 4-7am.  I learned that there is much to talk about in the crow community at that hour! The sounds...i am not sure how one crow can hear another above the loud chatter.  But it makes me smile every time. I imagine they are waking up and checking on each other, asking where they will go today ,  the young ones maybe asking to be fed. Which leads me to my second answer: seeing them together and talking and preening and getting set for the day, as a group, makes me love them even more as i find similarities between them and us.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Number 2....First thought comes to mind is R U N, not really. First thing I think of is WOW look at those beauties.
    • Alexander
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      i have never seen crows roost where I live however when i was on vacation in vancuver city i stayed for 2 nights at capilano rv park and in the evening there was at least a few thousand flying over and roosting in nearby trees they were baren trees as well. then in the morning they would all fly back to downtown vancouver. it was really cool cuz for a bit they would block out the sun there were so many
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      1) While I have not seen crows roosting in our area, I have seen red wing black birds. They usually arrive in mid-December and are gone by mid-Feb. I suspect they have chosen our local cemetery due the trees along the grassland and the creek. They can forage in nearby grassy areas and then easily return to the roost at night. 2) Using the red wings as my example, when I see the groups coming to roost, I am fascinated by how quiet a large group can get when night falls.