Crows and Ravens Are Back in Town

Raven over Dawson Street near Schenley Park, 23 October 2022, 8:30am (photo by Andrea Lavin Kossis)

26 October 2022

During the summer corvids stay home to raise their families but as soon as the breeding season is over they move around. In autumn large flocks of American crows return to Pittsburgh to join the winter roost while a few common ravens show up, alone or in pairs.

This month the crows and ravens are back in town. Since August their populations have gone through several phases.

Crows flying to the roost, Pittsburgh, 16 Oct 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

Late August: On 30 August a surprising count of 380 fish crows gathered on rooftops at Fifth & Craig while only 12 American crows were present that evening.

September: By 6 September fish crow numbers dropped from 30 to zero. American crow numbers rose through the hundreds. No ravens.

October so far: On 10 October a high count 620 American crows flew past “the doorknob” water tower at dusk. By late October no crows were counted because they changed their route. However we now see and hear ravens!

The “doorknob” water tower at dusk, Upper Hill, October 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

Ravens in town?

Crows migrate. Adult ravens stay home year round. However, young ravens go wandering until they reach sexual maturity at three years old. From fall through early spring a handful of these ravens visit Pittsburgh.

Last Sunday 23 October Andrea Lavin Kossis saw two ravens on Dawson Street dining on some “delicious roadkill.” The pair even had something to say about it.

Brock! Brock!

p.s. In December I’ll enlist your help to find the crow roost in time for the Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count.

(photos by Andrea Lavin Kossis and Kate St. John)

2 thoughts on “Crows and Ravens Are Back in Town

  1. There is a pair of Ravens around the Waterfront Mall, and have been seen recently near the Hays Bald Eagle nest

  2. Around January 5th, 2022 I saw a huge silhouette of what I thought was a hawk flying overhead in Shadyside/Oakland area, over Wallingford St. at the Centre Ave end of the street.
    Then I saw more and assumed they were crows but their calls were odd, I wondered why they didn’t sound like they usually do. I looked up Raven vs Crow calls and it sure did sound like a Raven.
    So naturally I came to your website to find out if anyone else mentioned seeing Ravens in Pittsburgh.
    I love your bird blog!

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