It's a phenomenon that grabs your attention during the winter - massive flocks of crows at dusk. And your brain starts cycling through all kinds of questions as you watch...why are there so many of them? What are they doing? Why this spot?
So, let's help each other answer some of these questions and come up with new ones to explore. Here's how to start:
1. Get outside between 4 pm and 6 pm which is peak activity time for crows coming together to roost for the evening.
2. There are three things to look for: streaming, staging and roosting.
Streaming: this is best described as a line of crows all coming from one direction and heading in one direction. Please share location and direction the crows are coming from or going to.
Staging: these are groups of crows gathering prior to sunset. Typically, crows will stage in one area and then at dusk (after the sun sets) as it gets dark, they will move to a final roosting spot for the night. We are interested in learning more about staging sites including how dispersed they may be in a give area and the number of crows at each staging site. Please share location and number.
Roosting: This is the final place crows gather as the night sky darkens. This is typically where they will stay for the night. We are interested in where preferred roosting sites are located, how many roosting sites crows may have in a given town/city/rural landscape, and how many crows are roosting together. Please share location and number.
3. Create an iNaturalist account, join our project and upload the iNaturalist app to your iPhone or Droid to make snapping photos of your observations easy!
4. If you use twitter, please share your enthusiasm for crows by using the hashtag #vtcrows.
5. Give us some feedback. We welcome your thoughts on how to tighten up data collection for the project as well as observations and questions you might have.