Flying to Roost

While on O’Connell Bridge recently to watch and photograph a sunset, I noticed a flock of 25 or so Northwestern Crows flying across Crescent Bay towards the islands. I grabbed a shot as they went, but lost track of them and don’t know where they ended up. It did remind me of my curiosity about their roosting locations, however. Crows are known to roost communally in the winter, but I don’t know how consistent the location is, nor do I know of any locations that have been observed around Sitka. I have on several other occasions noticed flocks of even over 100 birds flying off over the water near sunset. This leads me to think they must often nest on nearby islands, though I do not know why they might choose such locations over what would presumably be nearer locations in the forests surrounding town.

It does occur to me that it might be possible to find a roosting location (especially if they use the same place for multiple nights) with a little bit of coordinated effort between land-based observers and people on boats. It would be interesting to know how many roost in a given location, how often the location changes, and where the location(s) might be.

If you’ve ever noticed this behavior in crows or ravens (especially around Sitka) or have found a communal roost, I would like to hear about it. Please leave a comment sharing your observation!

2 thoughts on “Flying to Roost”

  1. The is a large flock of crows that seem to roost pretty consistently near Bothell in the winter(ish) time. Seems like they number in the thousands (here’s an article about them: I wonder if up there they would be mainly after security in roosting location as the article suggests they are here.

  2. That seems like quite a gathering! I’m not sure what might be driving it here, I talked to someone who has had them roosting in the summer in her back yard. That sounded like a small family group (~8 birds or so, if I remember correctly). I suppose it’s possible there are hundreds of birds flying in to meet up in a mega winter roost around here, but if so, it doesn’t seem like it’s happening along the road system.

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