Down to the Wire: Where Are The Crows?

Crows at a staging location on their way to the roost, Nov 2016 (photo by Kate St. John)

19 December 2022

Pittsburgh’s Christmas Bird Count is only 12 days away on 31 December 2022 so my search for Pittsburgh’s winter crow roost has taken on some urgency. I need to find their roost and a good vantage point for counting them, all before New Year’s Eve. Please let me know where you see crows overnight or after sunset, especially next week (after Christmas)!

Several of you responded to my 5 December blog, Help Me Find Pittsburgh’s Winter Crows, with these helpful dates and locations.

  • mid-November: On the Cardello Building near the West End Bridge
  • Dec 8 & 9: Flying over Mt. Oliver/Allentown just before dawn
  • Dec 11 and 14: roosting at City View, PPG Paints Arena and Cambria Hotel area
  • Dec 14: Big flocks flying east to west over Kennard Playground as viewed from Elmore St

I’ve checked from City View to the Hill District but haven’t made it to Mt. Oliver/Allentown yet. This map includes your sightings in orange and mine in yellow.

Pittsburgh crow roost map as of 19 Dec 2022 (screenshot Google map plus markup)

If I’ve learned anything it’s that the crows keep moving their roost, sometimes rather far. They’ve already abandoned the PPG Paints Arena area and have nudged their Hill District roost further north. Where will they be 12 days from now?

The other mystery is that I’ve only seen 5,000 of them. Does Pittsburgh have 10,000 to 20,000 crows as we did in years past? Where are the other 5,000 to 15,000?

Please let me know where you see crows overnight or after sunset. I’ll be out of town over Christmas and am going to miss the next crow move (they will change location when it’s only 7 degrees on Fri & Sat nights). Your help is really crucial.

I hope to count 10,000 to 20,000 crows on New Year’s Eve.

(and yes, I need to check Mt. Oliver/Allentown!)

(photo by Kate St. John, annotated map screenshot from Google Maps, click on the caption to see the original)

4 thoughts on “Down to the Wire: Where Are The Crows?

  1. It’s 3:30 on Tuesday December 27th, and there are several hundred crows gathering in Riverview park. I will probably hang around to see where they go, because they should start moving pretty soon if they’re going to go anywhere before dusk.

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