They’re Baaack!

A murder of crows flies past the Cathedral of Learning, heading for the trees (photo by Kate St. John)

If you’re wondering whether the crows would return to the University of Pittsburgh campus this winter, I have news. The murder is back, but only after dark. (*)

Late Monday afternoon, 28 October, I waited until sunset near the Cathedral of Learning for the peregrines to return for the night. The falcons slipped by unnoticed but as I walked to my car a huge flock of crows arrived. They were shouting!

The vanguard aimed for the trees on Forbes Avenue …

Crows burst off the trees at Forbes Avenue near the Cathedral of Learning, 28 Oct 2019 (photo by Kate St. John)

… then burst into the sky, wheeled around, and flew to Fifth Avenue.

The sunset sky is filled with crows near the Cathedral of Learning, 28 Oct 2019 (photo by Kate St. John)

By the time I drove past Heinz Chapel hundreds of crows were crossing the dark sky above Fifth Avenue near Clapp Hall. My windshield acquired “spots” as I passed beneath them.

This week most people won’t notice the crows because they arrive after everyone’s left Oakland for home.

Not so next Monday. After we turn the clocks back, sunset will be at 5:13pm and the crows will arrive during rush hour.

Next week, wear a wide-brimmed hat. 😉

(*) A group of crows is called a “murder.”

(photos by Kate St. John)

3 thoughts on “They’re Baaack!

    1. Janine, when crows breed in the spring/summer they maintain a small territory where their family finds enough to eat. In the fall/winter they migrate away from those territories to warmer, safer places with plentiful food that can be as much as 30 miles away (because this years’ kids can fly now). The flock disperses in late February through mid-March, back to their small breeding territories.

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