Spent many hours watching crow roosting behavior in Rhode Island where there were two major roosts of 10,000+ birds. Unfortunately, the advent of West Nile virus caused these roosts to disintegrate, but apparently they are beginning to regain their former numbers. Most interesting was watching single birds, what we called "scouts", leaving pre-roost locations to assess the safety of several final roost sites. Returning scouts could be heard calling as they approached the preroosting flock, and apparently if the message was positive the entire flock would then depart to the final roost. In Westerly, Rhode Island the final roost was located in a small (5-acre) mature red maple swamp in the midst of a highly urbanized residential neighborhood and you could watch the birds dropping into the canopy just before dark, still calling as they approached but becoming silent as they settled in. Roosts were mixed, about 100:1 Common/Fish Crow.
It would be interesting to map out all of the Vermont roosts. There is also one in the Randolph area - my last count was about 300 birds preroosting in the vicinity of Vermont Tech College.
Rick Enser, Braintree
From: Jane Stein <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 10:09 PM
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] crow roost
I find it impossible to watch crows for any length of time and not
believe there's much more sophisticated communication going on than just
On 11/30/2011 9:14 PM, Ronald Payne wrote:
> I counted 430 Crows passing by Otter View Park in Middlebury headed in
> the general direction of Chipman Hill.
> Loved the Crow bussing comment, Jane.
> Ron Payne
> Middlebury, VT
> On Wed, 30 Nov 2011 18:06:35 -0500, Eric Masterson wrote:
> There is also a neat crow roost somewhere in the Lebanon/White River
>> area. Counted 500 heading west over exit 18 on i89 today.