Bird Observer - The New England Birding Journal

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

December 2018

Vol. 46, No. 6

Gleanings: Who Knows Where the Crows Go?

David M. Larson

Winter crow roosts are interesting phenomena. Thousands or tens of thousands of American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) will congregate in winter roosts. Recently, Dana Duxbury-Fox (2018) characterized such a roost of American and Fish (C. ossifragus) crows in Lawrence, Massachusetts, consisting of as many as 16,000 birds. Crows are intelligent social animals that often maintain family groups even during the breeding season. Winter crow roosts provide social interactions, safety in numbers, and possibly information exchange about food resources (Verbeek, 2002). Often, as in Lawrence, roosts are in urban areas, which may provide ample food, few predators, and warmth on cold winter nights.

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