Found The Crows!

Pittsburgh’s winter crow flock flies past South Oakland on 14 Dec 2021 (photo by Mary DeVaughn)

13 January 2022

Driving home yesterday from northern Pennsylvania I reached the edge of Downtown near the PPG Arena parking lot(*) at 5:35pm. Night was falling but the overcast sky was still lit.

As I drove up the ramp to Bigelow Boulevard three huge flocks of crows burst off the Flag Plaza hilltop (at right below) and swirled overhead to the roof of The Pennsylvanian (left), back and forth.

Location of Pittsburgh’s winter crows on 12 Jan 2022 at dusk, swirling from The Pennsylvanian (left) to the Flag Plaza hilltop (right) (image of Bigelow Blvd ramp from Google Streetview)

When I reached this part of the ramp (below) I could hear poot landing my car. The dark sky was thick with crows.

Location of Pittsburgh’s winter crows on 12 Jan 2022 at dusk, swirling from The Pennsylvanian (left) to the Flag Plaza hilltop (right) (image of Bigelow Blvd ramp from Google Streetview)

It was a scene like this screenshot from Gerry Devinney’s mid-December video, probably 3,000 to 5,000 crows. (Click here to see Gerry’s video.)

Crows swirl near the mid-Oakland roost, 18 December 2021 (screenshot from video by Gerry Devinney on Vimeo)

I was lucky to find them in another part of town after the crows were a No Show at the Christmas Bird Count. It’s ironic that they are in the same place where the black bear was found before Christmas. Perhaps they are roosting in the Strip District.

View from Flag Plaza in March 2015 (photo by Kate St. John)

If I visit Flag Plaza at dusk will I be able to count them? Nope. Too close. I will have to find a place with a much longer view.

(photos by Mary DeVaughn, Google StreetView, Gerry DeVinney (screenshot) and Kate St. John; click on the captions to see the originals)

p.s. (*) The PPG Paints Arena parking lot on Centre Ave at Washington Place is torn up by construction on its way to becoming something else. It is the old site of the Civic Arena.

1 thought on “Found The Crows!

  1. We have seen an unusually large number of crows up here in Natrona Heights. While I saw them on occasion, they are becoming far more common near my home.

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