My Wednesday Vignette this week concerns crows. Specifically, large numbers of crows. Last week, I was sitting at the computer in my home office at twilight when a cacophonous racket distracted me. Almost simultaneously, a large number of crows, at least three dozen, possibly more, took up perches directly outside in the mimosa tree. The didn't stay long. As I located my camera and aimed it in their direction, they started to fly off. I caught some of them flying out over the back garden's hedge.
|I count at least 15 birds in this photo but the number that scattered about was far larger. A group of crows is commonly called a "murder of crows."|
They landed in the trees of nearby neighbors, calling out to stragglers.
|They moved as a loose group, with those in the lead stopping at intervals, as if waiting for their cohorts to catch up|
Then they congregated on the roof of a neighbor several houses down the road from us, where they hung out for a longer period.
|You can see them arranged along the roof line, once again waiting for those behind them to arrive. I don't think anyone in this house was home as no one appeared outside. It would have been nearly impossible to miss their cries.|
|In less than 10 minutes, they dispersed again|
They flew off to the south, still calling to stragglers and landing on different perches at intervals until I eventually lost sight of them.
Crows are social birds and commonly roost together at night in large groups. They also change their roosts from time to time but apparently this usually happens in winter. I used to take regular morning walks about a mile south to a large park surrounded by a housing development. One house in that development routinely drew my attention. Hundreds of crows occupied the area surrounding the house, most in one very large tree, but others spilling out onto telephone and power lines in the same area. At the time, I wondered if the home's owners had a particular affection for crows, or if there was simply no way to get rid of them. I know they have a reputation as smart birds but they're also very noisy and as messy as any other bird. I wondered what I'd do if they ever chose to relocate to my house en masse. When I first saw them alight in the mimosa tree, I momentarily feared I might have to face that issue as many other people have done.
According to the article I referenced, one group in Oklahoma numbered two million individual birds. The murder of crows I saw was far smaller. Why they were on the move in early summer is a mystery but it seems they found someplace other than my mimosa tree to roost. Or so I hope anyway...
For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.
All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party