Bird Observer - The New England Birding Journal

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

December 2018

Vol. 46, No. 6

Zaps: 46-6

Zaps are notes of awareness and pleas for action that appear in the corresponding print edition of Bird Observer. Here they are from the current issue.

Lawrence Winter Crow Roost: Fall/ Winter 2018 Update

The winter crow roost in the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is back in full swing. Since October, we have seen a return of both American Crows and Fish Crows.

For decades, the crows have gathered each winter along the Merrimack River, and all around the city of Lawrence. Beginning in October, they arrive daily, assembling in late afternoon in smaller staging groups throughout the area. In the evening, they converge on a major roost location for the overnight communal roost.

This daily activity continues until as late as April. In October, the overnight roosts may be only 500 crows. By the middle of January, the numbers may swell to more than 15,000 crows. Then the numbers dwindle again until, by spring, the crows have left.

In 2019, the Essex Art Center in Lawrence has planned a number of activities to celebrate this amazing phenomenon of nature. A first-time Crow art show, Celebrating a Winter Crow Roost, will open January 11 and run until early March. A number of local groups will host gatherings that include a gallery tour of the show, an informative talk, and a guided field walk to observe the crows.

The initial organizing groups include Mass Audubon, Groundwork Lawrence, Merrimack River Watershed Council, Merrimack Valley Bird Club, AVIS Land Trust, and many others. Additional events are in the early planning stages. Dana Duxbury-Fox, her husband Bob Fox, and Craig Gibson will also be organizing a number of guided walks. Please visit www.wintercrowroost.com for further updates.

Craig Gibson








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