Outdoor Radio: Crows Come Home to Roost

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With the sun dropping below the hills the chase was on. The crows had gathered by the hundreds behind the store fronts in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. They’d streamed in from all directions, calling loudly on arrival. Some perched in sumac trees and picked at the seeds. Others cried out on our approach. Then, without warning, they were off. The game was afoot!

We followed them as best we could, zig-zagging through traffic and city streets, as they streamed from the pre-roost towards their final destination. With the light fading fast, we found them. Thousands of crows, with more arriving by the second, gathered in the trees and on the ground. Sometime swirling up into the air over our heads in a great cloud of black birds, then settling down again in the trees with a cacophony of calls.

Join us on our great adventure as we track down a huge winter crow roost and talk about why these amazing birds gather in such large flocks. We’ll even talk about why they are sometimes called a murder of crows.

Listen to the show

 

More  Information about American Crows

Images from the show

American Crows gathering in a late winter afternoon pre-roost. Some were feeding on the seeds of Staghorn Sumac. © K.P. McFarland

American Crows gathering in a late winter afternoon pre-roost. Some were feeding on the seeds of Staghorn Sumac. © K.P. McFarland

American Crows drinking from a parking lot puddle near an evening pre-roost. © K.P. McFarland

American Crows drinking from a parking lot puddle near an evening pre-roost. © K.P. McFarland

An American Crow bill wiping and calling in alarm as we stand under a large pre-roost site. © K.P. McFarland

An American Crow bill wiping and calling in alarm as we stand under a large pre-roost site. © K.P. McFarland

American Crows gathering near a winter roost site. © K.P. McFarland

American Crows gathering near a winter roost site. © K.P. McFarland

American Crows settling in to a winter roost at dusk. About 5,000 crows gathered here for the night. © K.P. McFarland

American Crows settling in to a winter roost at dusk. About 5,000 crows gathered here for the night. © K.P. McFarland

Outdoor Radio is a monthly feature produced in collaboration with Vermont Public Radio with support from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation. The program is produced by Vermont Public Radio chief audio engineer Chris Albertine.

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Comments (2)

  1. Ted Jastrzembski says:

    Shopping in West Leb in the late afternoon we always notice the confluence of crows, assembling for cocktails. Now we have a more complete story of what’s going on. Love the cawing in the background.

  2. KB says:

    Many, many hundreds of crows fly over Middlebury College en route to their night roost. I always stop on my way to the car and watch them fly over. Is the location of Middlebury area roost known? I would bet there are ultimately 1,000 or more birds at that location, and would love to check it out.

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