Crow Update, Dec 14

Crows in winter (photo by Oliver via Flickr Creative Commons license)

14 December 2020

Now that it’s mid December Pittsburgh’s winter crow flock has chosen favorite roosts but continues to adjust the location in subtle ways, especially when it’s cold.

In October they switched sites abruptly — here today, gone tomorrow. In November they focused in Oakland and tried for Schenley Farms. On the 18th I watched the flock hover from four blocks away, then heard a distant BANG! a single banger firework. The crows made a U turn in the sky and didn’t come back.

This month the flock has split into several roosts including rooftops and trees at Bouquet and Sennott, at Fifth and Thackeray, and perhaps at University Prep in the Hill District. On 11 December I followed them to the Hill where I found them staging at Rampart Street, Herron near Milwaukee, and University Prep.

But I don’t know where they sleep. I plan to count them on 26 December for the Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count so if you see them sleeping somewhere let me know!

Meanwhile, the flock’s incursion into Oakland prompted this tongue-in-check tourism video by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy interns, posted on 20 November.

The crows and I recognize a lot of places in the video. 😉

(photo by Oliver via Flickr Creative Commons license)

p.s. Last evening I found 3,000 crows staging at the back of Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park but it’s not where they sleep. I saw them leave.

5 thoughts on “Crow Update, Dec 14

  1. I watch them along Fifth Avenue almost daily – sometimes heading WNW and sometimes WSW over our condo bldg. Often they are so incredibly noisy I can hear them with windows closed. People with skylights say the crows peck at them and make a mess.

  2. Kate- as I’ve said before- I enjoy your bird blog- it’s the best around!

    I live in Schenley Farms and I am in no way a part of the small group that would rather busy themselves by harassing crows- than simply washing the droppings off their sidewalks-not to mention the acorns and other tree debris that collects there, that doesn’t seem to be an issue to them.

    For myself and some others living in Schenley Farms, (who are not comfortable being as outspoken as I am) the crows settling in for the night in the big street trees is a beautiful phenomenon of nature that we respect and enjoy.

    Anyone who chases them off and claims to enjoy them from afar is being dishonest.

  3. Hey Kate! Thank you so much for the update. I haven’t been able to make it to do much crow watching this winter so this warms my heart.

    On a side note, the intern who made that video was none other than me! I’m very happy that you both found and liked my video. I thought it would be fun to give info about the winter roosts with a twist to draw people in. As for the footage itself, I managed to get some good footage of the crows one evening in early October and included that in the video along with some stock footage. Oh, and I also made the soundtrack myself!

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