Re:[cayugabirds-l] crows nesting

2021-03-12 Thread Martha Fischer
almost a confirmed breeder!!!

From: bounce-125456663-3494...@list.cornell.edu 
 on behalf of Deb Grantham 

Sent: Friday, March 12, 2021 12:21 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] crows nesting


Pair of crows building a nest in big silver maple right next to my house. I 
think they started 2 days ago. Have had several busy periods in that time. I 
hope they stick with it.



I need to plant some tiny tree seedlings under the drip line of that tree. Hope 
it won’t disturb them too much.



Sheffield Road, Ithaca/Enfield town line.



Deb



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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows a nesting

2019-03-18 Thread Geo Kloppel
Speaking of Crows, I was out in my driveway at 10:30 last night, when a distant 
bunch of Crows began doing something that sounded like mobbing. I couldn’t 
remember ever hearing them make such a ruckus at night. I thought of Great 
Horned Owls, and tree climbers like raccoons or fishers. The Crows kept it up 
about five minutes, then grew quiet. A coyote gave about four long lone-howls 
from the same general direction, then silence returned under the bright 
moonlight.

-Geo


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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Crows at my feeders

2019-01-22 Thread Bill Evans
Dozens of crows perched atop sumac branches eating berries near Wal-Mart 
yesterday.
Bill E
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows at my feeders

2019-01-21 Thread Geo Kloppel
We offer food year round to a small group of 3-5 Crows in our yard. We’ve 
actually been missing them recently. The lack of snow following hunting season 
made for easy access to discarded deer carcasses and parts (common in our 
neighborhood), as we several times observed. Even though we have a foot of new 
snow, I guess they still know where the carcasses are.

-Geo

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows at my feeders

2019-01-21 Thread Alicia
We haven't had any so far this year, but some years small flocks - 
usually between 3 and 8 - they swoop in and entertain us when the snow 
is deep.   At least one figured out how to land on edge of our hopper 
feeder - s/he had to fly in carefully from the side, ducking under the 
overhang, just fitting by scrunching down & clinging onto the narrow 
seed tray, parallel to it.  Although they are sitting in most of the 
tray, they still have room to eat from the very end of it.  No way to 
know if many different crows mastered that move and did it in rotation 
or just one, but it is an impressive feat of athleticism.  (After flying 
in from the side for several days, s/he/they decided it was easier to 
start on the roof and jump off from there, ducking under the overhang 
and simultaneously grabbing the feed tray, to arrive in the same 
position - which seems even harder when observed.)

Alicia


On 1/21/2019 12:24 PM, anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:
> And deep snowy.  They can deal with cold if they can reach the ground 
> to forage. Bet the thousands that have been foraging nearer Syracuse 
> and Auburn are finding it VERY challenging.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jan 21, 2019, at 9:40 AM, Rachel   > wrote:
>
>> Crows (4 to 12 at a time, who knows if they are the same birds, with 
>> more in the trees) have ascended upon my bird feeders, eating spilled 
>> seed on the ground. I've never had crows as a feeder bird before, 
>> although we have many around our grain farm. Pretty impressive; they 
>> look huge next to the other birds! They're very flighty, and easily 
>> spooked. I guess now we know it's cold!
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows at my feeders

2019-01-21 Thread anneb . clark
And deep snowy.  They can deal with cold if they can reach the ground to 
forage. Bet the thousands that have been foraging nearer Syracuse and Auburn 
are finding it VERY challenging. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 21, 2019, at 9:40 AM, Rachel   wrote:
> 
> Crows (4 to 12 at a time, who knows if they are the same birds, with more in 
> the trees) have ascended upon my bird feeders, eating spilled seed on the 
> ground. I've never had crows as a feeder bird before, although we have many 
> around our grain farm. Pretty impressive; they look huge next to the other 
> birds! They're very flighty, and easily spooked. I guess now we know it's 
> cold!
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows at my feeders

2019-01-21 Thread Donna Lee Scott
I always have our local crow families at or below my feeders, since I purposely 
scatter seeds on ground, too, & especially under sheltering bushes.
A lot of birds prefer feeding on ground or deck floor, probably cause it is 
more natural to them.
Of course this means I feed a lot of squirrels too!

Donna Scott
Lansing
Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 21, 2019, at 9:51 AM, Jae Sullivan 
mailto:blueheron...@yahoo.com>> wrote:

I have been having the same experience...downtown feeders on the street, 
usually populated with House Sparrows and not much else  the birds are 
HUGEBlue Jays, Starlings, a Robin, fighting for seed.

Delightful to watch.

Jae


On Monday, January 21, 2019, 9:40:53 AM EST, Rachel Lodder 
mailto:rachel.lod...@outlook.com>> wrote:


Crows (4 to 12 at a time, who knows if they are the same birds, with more in 
the trees) have ascended upon my bird feeders, eating spilled seed on the 
ground. I've never had crows as a feeder bird before, although we have many 
around our grain farm. Pretty impressive; they look huge next to the other 
birds! They're very flighty, and easily spooked. I guess now we know it's cold!
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows at my feeders

2019-01-21 Thread Jae Sullivan
I have been having the same experience...downtown feeders on the street, 
usually populated with House Sparrows and not much else  the birds are 
HUGEBlue Jays, Starlings, a Robin, fighting for seed.
Delightful to watch.
Jae 

On Monday, January 21, 2019, 9:40:53 AM EST, Rachel Lodder 
 wrote:  
 
  Crows (4 to 12 at a time, who knows if they are the same birds, with more in 
the trees) have ascended upon my bird feeders, eating spilled seed on the 
ground. I've never had crows as a feeder bird before, although we have many 
around our grain farm. Pretty impressive; they look huge next to the other 
birds! They're very flighty, and easily spooked. I guess now we know it's 
cold!-- Cayugabirds-L List Info: Welcome and Basics Rules and Information 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows vs TVs

2015-11-12 Thread AB Clark
Concerted attacks (vs a couple of young crows harrassing vultures) is unusual!  
 But we are now very interested in where roosts are actually occuring!  Our 
studies of roosts and Nitrogen cycling are ongoing.

You are right, the “Migrants” did arrive…about 10 days ago.  The roost in 
Auburn went from 0 to 20K within days; there is a flock regularly gathering 
around noon at Munson Rd x 34 area and moving field to field…last time I could 
count, I know there were over 800 and I certainly couldn’t see all the fields 
they were using.  

Our local crows have been much more circumspect.  Except for a very regular 
flock of fish crows, they are using the Compost site very little, although our 
two radio-tagged crows are always in the general vicinity of Stevenson x Turkey 
Hill, And a few times in last 3 weeks,  there has been a flock of 100-200 with 
a few tagged birds up on Mt Pleasant, near Mineah.  Before Migrant Arrival, I 
had a flock of about 200 with tagged locals near Munson Rd along 34, but not 
since.  (Don’t mix with the winter people??)

Last Sunday, I had one very large, completely no-tags flock of 500-800 birds at 
the Compost once,  swirling confusedly as it got toward dusk, as if they were 
uncertain where to go.  I think they finally went off toward downtown, maybe 
the Ithaca College area.

So I would be much interested to know about any large foraging or roosting 
aggregations, or even where early morning crows seem to be coming from.

cheers,

Anne

> On Nov 12, 2015, at 11:51 AM, Chris R. Pelkie  
> wrote:
> 
> I mentioned seeing my first of season ‘big’ crow assemblage at the CBC 
> meeting last week, of about 100 American Crows doing small wheelies in a 
> large group swirling over my house (I first thought it was gulls, in fact).
> 
> Over the last week, I’ve seen similar numbers streaming over at dusk, 
> probably from Lansing corn fields to Ithaca/Northeast area.
> 
> This morning, I had a bird-a-palooza at 645AM while walking the dog. As I 
> stepped out, the cawing was loud, continuous, and numerous. Looking up in 
> early dawn against gray overcast, I estimated 200 AMCRs swirling and 
> attacking about 16 Turkey Vultures (this is unusual, of course).
> The TVs were clearly not enjoying this at all, and probably saying “Mellow 
> out, dudes! What’s up with this?”. But crows were hitting the TVs and small 
> groups chasing individual TVs around in a giant swirling mass of black wings.
> The illusion of a WWII bomber-fighter sky battle came to mind.
> 
> I suspect that the crows were roosting in the same trees around Asbury 
> Cemetery as the TVs have used for several years, and both groups woke up 
> about the same time, probably when a near-sighted crow with a short temper 
> jumped the first TV by accident thinking it was one of those ‘other’ raptors 
> it should be attacking, then the cascade began of more crows joining in and 
> more TVs freaking out and going from tree to sky only to be attacked 
> themselves. Just my hypothesis.
> 
> ChrisP
> __
>  
> Chris Pelkie
> Information/Data Manager; IT Support
> Bioacoustics Research Program
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows like toad liver

2015-05-07 Thread Lindsay Goodloe
We also have a pond with many (100) breeding American toads, and we've
noticed crows lurking about, though we haven't actually observed predation.
One possible reason for the crows' preference for the liver is that the
parotid glands and skin of the toad produce bufotoxin, which may be
poisonous, or at least distasteful, to them. They can probably largely avoid
the toxin by feeding only on easily extractable morsels from the viscera,
especially the liver.

Lindsay Goodloe


On 5/6/15 1:56 PM, Geo Kloppel geoklop...@gmail.com wrote:

 I guess it's an element of local Crow culture, maybe even limited to
 particular families who have toad ponds within their territories and pass the
 trick down the generations.
 
 -Geo Kloppel
 
 On May 6, 2015, at 1:31 PM, Melanie Uhlir mela...@mwmu.com wrote:
 
 Very interesting. But I'm sad about the toad slaughter. I'm glad I've never
 noticed this in person!
 
 I guess the toad populations are able to survive this seasonal devastation.
 Great White Sharks take advantage of seal breeding season in the same way. I
 think the sharks eat the whole seal though. Crows are gourmands. Or maybe
 there's a specific nutritional benefit to eating the toads' livers.
 
 On 5/5/2015 8:27 PM, Geo Kloppel wrote:
 I did a little reading on the subject, and it seems that Crows, being very
 intelligent, sometimes develop local traditions in which they annually take
 advantage of these pool parties to feast on toad livers.
 
 This has been happening for years at my pond!
 
 -Geo Kloppel
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows like toad liver

2015-05-06 Thread Melanie Uhlir
Very interesting. But I'm sad about the toad slaughter. I'm glad I've 
never noticed this in person!


I guess the toad populations are able to survive this seasonal 
devastation. Great White Sharks take advantage of seal breeding season 
in the same way. I think the sharks eat the whole seal though. Crows are 
gourmands. Or maybe there's a specific nutritional benefit to eating the 
toads' livers.


On 5/5/2015 8:27 PM, Geo Kloppel wrote:

I did a little reading on the subject, and it seems that Crows, being very 
intelligent, sometimes develop local traditions in which they annually take 
advantage of these pool parties to feast on toad livers.

This has been happening for years at my pond!

-Geo Kloppel
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows like toad liver

2015-05-06 Thread Geo Kloppel
I guess it's an element of local Crow culture, maybe even limited to particular 
families who have toad ponds within their territories and pass the trick down 
the generations.

-Geo Kloppel

On May 6, 2015, at 1:31 PM, Melanie Uhlir mela...@mwmu.com wrote:

 Very interesting. But I'm sad about the toad slaughter. I'm glad I've never 
 noticed this in person!
 
 I guess the toad populations are able to survive this seasonal devastation. 
 Great White Sharks take advantage of seal breeding season in the same way. I 
 think the sharks eat the whole seal though. Crows are gourmands. Or maybe 
 there's a specific nutritional benefit to eating the toads' livers.
 
 On 5/5/2015 8:27 PM, Geo Kloppel wrote:
 I did a little reading on the subject, and it seems that Crows, being very 
 intelligent, sometimes develop local traditions in which they annually take 
 advantage of these pool parties to feast on toad livers.
 
 This has been happening for years at my pond!
 
 -Geo Kloppel
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows chasing ravens

2015-04-12 Thread Geo Kloppel
Hi Ben,

I just saw the same thing a moment ago, except the Raven was flying _toward_ 
the L-P preserve (that is, leaving the nest area on a foraging mission), and 
very tightly harassed by a Crow, all the way down to the WD Fire Station area. 
Might even have been a member of the Crow family that's currently nesting in my 
yard, since the Ravens are passing back and forth right over the Crows' 
territory.

-Geo Kloppel

On Apr 11, 2015, at 12:33 PM, Benjamin Freeman bg...@cornell.edu wrote:

 Hello,
 
 I went for a nice walk this morning at Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve. 
 Phoebes are back, Great Blue Herons are standing on nests near the fire 
 station (looked like seven occupied nests), fox sparrows and golden-crowned 
 kinglets were around, and a smattering of migrants passed overhead (common 
 loon, rough-legged hawk, and many turkey vultures).
 
 One interesting observation I wanted to share: I was watching a raven fly 
 across the valley when a bird came out of nowhere to chase and harass the 
 raven. It was a crow, and the crow followed the raven until I lost sight of 
 the two corvids. I've seen small groups of crows harass solitary ravens many 
 times, but don't think I've previously seen a single crow harass a single 
 raven with such vigor.
 
 Best,
 
 Ben
 
 -- 
 Benjamin Freeman
 Ph.D. candidate
 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
 Cornell University
 Ithaca, NY, USA
 benjamingfreeman.com
 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows chasing ravens

2015-04-11 Thread Geo Kloppel
Crows are laying eggs now, so vigilance against thieves is in order (I imagine 
the extended family participates in this). The West Danby Ravens are 
accomplished egg-thieves, and now have nestlings to feed. Even the Canada Geese 
are apt to be robbed. I've found their huge empty eggshells on the forest floor 
in the vicinity of Ravens's nests, a mile or more from the nearest goose nests!

-Geo Kloppel

On Apr 11, 2015, at 12:33 PM, Benjamin Freeman bg...@cornell.edu wrote:

 Hello,
 
 I went for a nice walk this morning at Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve. 
 Phoebes are back, Great Blue Herons are standing on nests near the fire 
 station (looked like seven occupied nests), fox sparrows and golden-crowned 
 kinglets were around, and a smattering of migrants passed overhead (common 
 loon, rough-legged hawk, and many turkey vultures).
 
 One interesting observation I wanted to share: I was watching a raven fly 
 across the valley when a bird came out of nowhere to chase and harass the 
 raven. It was a crow, and the crow followed the raven until I lost sight of 
 the two corvids. I've seen small groups of crows harass solitary ravens many 
 times, but don't think I've previously seen a single crow harass a single 
 raven with such vigor.
 
 Best,
 
 Ben
 
 -- 
 Benjamin Freeman
 Ph.D. candidate
 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
 Cornell University
 Ithaca, NY, USA
 benjamingfreeman.com
 
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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows, Eagle

2015-03-25 Thread Donna Lee Scott
Two times here I have seen what I think are “my” resident Crows flying very 
close to and harassing an immature Bald Eagle perched in one of my trees on the 
cliff overlooking the lake.

Donna Scott
Lansing,

From: bounce-118980691-15001...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-118980691-15001...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Geo Kloppel
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 2:34 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Crows, Eagle

A pair of Crows was gathering nest material on the bank outside my kitchen 
window this morning.

Plenty of other Crows around, of course, but one that I saw downtown this 
afternoon is notable, because it was chasing a first year Bald Eagle over the 
Unitarian Church.
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows that hunt?

2014-07-22 Thread Anne Clark
Crows will try to catch, kill and eat  small vertebrates that they come across. 
 Yes indeed, they are hunting all the time when they are foraging on the 
ground,in the sense that they are searching for live food like beetles, larvae 
(beetle or otherwise), earthworms and also, when they encounter them, small 
snakes, small rodents like voles, and shrews.  They are NOT specialized at 
killing and usually use some sort of stab at, flip it-jump back, etc technique 
to kill small rodents without getting bitten themselves.  Not sure how they 
kill snakes, but the only time I watched one with a garter snake, they held it 
down with feet and stabbed. 

So they search broadly for hidden prey and use very generalized techniques for 
capturing and killing anything they find.  

Their gardener-friendly eating of beetle and other larvae was noted many years 
ago, when it was calculated that they WAY offset any direct crop damage that 
they were accused of.

cheers,

Anne

On Jul 22, 2014, at 10:26 AM, Richard Tkachuck wrote:

 We appear to have a crow family in our yard--two young that mew begging for 
 food. While watching them, I think I saw an adult snag a vole and then eat 
 it. It did not share with a young. A little while later I saw the same adult 
 with a small (maybe 6 inch) snake in its beak. Ultimately, this was given to 
 one of the young which swallowed it head first. Question, do crows hunt for 
 live food?
 
 Richard Tkachuck 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] crows nesting

2014-03-20 Thread Anne Clark
Not too early...Kevin found a crow on Yellow Barn road incubating this past 
weekend and there are crows building all over Cayuga Heights. The family at the 
end of Sapsucker Woods Rd and Hanshaw is probably nearing completion of their 
nest.   The peak of many years for starting incubation  is about 5 April.  
However, they often build well before starting incubation--cradle before baby.  

That said...we are particularly interested in nests in rural areas.  Anyone who 
has one, please send Kevin or I locations, off list, especially if we can band 
the nestlings.   ALSO, anyone seeing tagged birds in their yards, or building 
anywhere--a note please!  We lost about 70+ tagged or known birds during the 
last two summers (Aug-October), due to West Nile virus and we expect our 
younger survivors (2-4 year olds--red, grey or dark green tags) to have lots of 
breeding opportunities.   

Thanks, 
anne


On Mar 20, 2014, at 12:11 PM, Susan Fast wrote:

 What I assume are two of our Yard crows have been working on a nest for about 
 a week.  It's approx. 60-70 feet up in a white pine and I can see parts of 
 the nest from our kitchen.  Earlier today, one carried a mouthful of twigs to 
 the site, then repeated this.  They took a break for a couple hours and just 
 now I watched one gathering coarse dead grass from the Yard.  After taking a 
 wad of this to the nest, it dropped down and got another mouthful; but spit 
 this out.  It walked to another spot, pulled up another mouthful, and spit 
 that out too.  It finally got a small wad of what appeared to be the center 
 stem from hickory leaves(which it was under), and delivered that to the nest. 
  This seems a little early, but what do I know?
 
 Steve Fast
 Brooktondale
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread Anne Clark
These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.  
Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering when 
we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of year may 
offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned Owls.  

In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant snow cover 
for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.  Crows don't 
necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may go as far as an 
area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they are familiar with 
from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that are made up of migrants 
as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets unusually snowy and cold, they may 
move further south.  (We really don't know much of the repeat migratory routes 
of individual crows.  We do know that birds tagged in Ithaca in winter are then 
seen on territories in Canada, VT, New Hampshire in summer, and that some birds 
RAISED in Ithaca have been observed or shot in winter, in such places as 
Maryland, West VA, and Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)

In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off familiar areas. 
 During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to detect predators in 
day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks flock up still more in 
places that offer good roosting sites, which probably includes wind breaks, 
places from which owls can be detected at night. So they are probably gathering 
both for safety in numbers and also because they all agree on what makes a good 
site.  Cities may offer fewer predators, but also the lights may allow them to 
see the predators.  Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have 
sampled food sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps 
by following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.

So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for northern 
crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields interspersed 
with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be important in cold 
winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with large groups of lit 
trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These seem to be attractive.

Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows will be 
returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are already calling on 
territory during daytimes.

As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned down 
with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when we can 
follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our birds, such 
as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.  Bring on the Tiny 
Tags!

Anne

On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:

 I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I would 
 like to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are they on the 
 move or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
 Thanks.
 Sue Rakow
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread Sue Rakow
This is very helpful information! Thank  you so much for the complete
picture. I am learning so much from being on this list serve. I am very
grateful!
Sue Rakow


On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:

 These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.
  Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering
 when we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of
 year may offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned
 Owls.

 In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant snow
 cover for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.  Crows
 don't necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may go as
 far as an area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they are
 familiar with from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that are
 made up of migrants as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets unusually
 snowy and cold, they may move further south.  (We really don't know much of
 the repeat migratory routes of individual crows.  We do know that birds
 tagged in Ithaca in winter are then seen on territories in Canada, VT, New
 Hampshire in summer, and that some birds RAISED in Ithaca have been
 observed or shot in winter, in such places as Maryland, West VA, and
 Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)

 In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off familiar
 areas.  During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to detect
 predators in day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks flock
 up still more in places that offer good roosting sites, which probably
 includes wind breaks, places from which owls can be detected at night. So
 they are probably gathering both for safety in numbers and also because
 they all agree on what makes a good site.  Cities may offer fewer
 predators, but also the lights may allow them to see the predators.
  Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have sampled food
 sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps by
 following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.

 So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for northern
 crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields
 interspersed with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be
 important in cold winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with
 large groups of lit trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These
 seem to be attractive.

 Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows will
 be returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are already
 calling on territory during daytimes.

 As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned
 down with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when
 we can follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our
 birds, such as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.
  Bring on the Tiny Tags!

 Anne

 On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:

 I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I would
 like to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are they on
 the move or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
 Thanks.
 Sue Rakow
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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread Kevin J. McGowan
For those who don't know, I have had a set of web pages about crows up for 15 
years now, including http://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/crowfaq.htm, which 
answers a lot of questions like these.

Best,

Kevin


Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Instructor
Home Study Course in Bird Biology
Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
k...@cornell.edu
607-254-2452

Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses and learn about our comprehensive Home 
Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course Investigating Behavior: 
Courtship and Rivalry in 
Birdshttp://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses/courtship/, our Be A Better Birder 
tutorialshttp://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses/home/tutorial/, and our series 
of webinarshttp://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses/home/webinars/. Purchase the 
webinars herehttp://store.birds.cornell.edu/category_s/55.htm.


From: bounce-112890972-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-112890972-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Sue Rakow
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2014 10:52 AM
To: Anne Clark
Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

This is very helpful information! Thank  you so much for the complete picture. 
I am learning so much from being on this list serve. I am very grateful!
Sue Rakow

On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Anne Clark 
anneb.cl...@gmail.commailto:anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:
These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.  
Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering when 
we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of year may 
offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned Owls.

In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant snow cover 
for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.  Crows don't 
necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may go as far as an 
area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they are familiar with 
from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that are made up of migrants 
as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets unusually snowy and cold, they may 
move further south.  (We really don't know much of the repeat migratory routes 
of individual crows.  We do know that birds tagged in Ithaca in winter are then 
seen on territories in Canada, VT, New Hampshire in summer, and that some birds 
RAISED in Ithaca have been observed or shot in winter, in such places as 
Maryland, West VA, and Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)

In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off familiar areas. 
 During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to detect predators in 
day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks flock up still more in 
places that offer good roosting sites, which probably includes wind breaks, 
places from which owls can be detected at night. So they are probably gathering 
both for safety in numbers and also because they all agree on what makes a good 
site.  Cities may offer fewer predators, but also the lights may allow them to 
see the predators.  Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have 
sampled food sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps 
by following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.

So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for northern 
crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields interspersed 
with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be important in cold 
winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with large groups of lit 
trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These seem to be attractive.

Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows will be 
returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are already calling on 
territory during daytimes.

As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned down 
with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when we can 
follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our birds, such 
as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.  Bring on the Tiny 
Tags!

Anne

On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:

I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I would like 
to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are they on the move 
or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
Thanks.
Sue Rakow
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread Linda Orkin
Sue, thanks for enjoying the list and for being so eager to learn.  All of
us who admire, respect and enjoy crows are trying to retire the collective
noun of murder as it can either imply that crows are evil or that they
should be murdered.  Another term could be Congress of crows (which in this
day and age can also be pejorative) or can also be a Muster.  Which would
seem appropriate especially at this time of year as they gather or when
they all raucously mob a Great-horned Owl.  I like Muster, the definition
is apropos.

Keep watching!!!

Linda Orkin
Ithaca, NY


On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Sue Rakow sue.ra...@gmail.com wrote:

 This is very helpful information! Thank  you so much for the complete
 picture. I am learning so much from being on this list serve. I am very
 grateful!
 Sue Rakow


 On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:

 These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.
  Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering
 when we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of
 year may offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned
 Owls.

 In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant snow
 cover for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.  Crows
 don't necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may go as
 far as an area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they are
 familiar with from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that are
 made up of migrants as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets unusually
 snowy and cold, they may move further south.  (We really don't know much of
 the repeat migratory routes of individual crows.  We do know that birds
 tagged in Ithaca in winter are then seen on territories in Canada, VT, New
 Hampshire in summer, and that some birds RAISED in Ithaca have been
 observed or shot in winter, in such places as Maryland, West VA, and
 Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)

 In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off familiar
 areas.  During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to detect
 predators in day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks flock
 up still more in places that offer good roosting sites, which probably
 includes wind breaks, places from which owls can be detected at night. So
 they are probably gathering both for safety in numbers and also because
 they all agree on what makes a good site.  Cities may offer fewer
 predators, but also the lights may allow them to see the predators.
  Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have sampled food
 sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps by
 following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.

 So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for northern
 crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields
 interspersed with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be
 important in cold winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with
 large groups of lit trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These
 seem to be attractive.

 Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows
 will be returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are
 already calling on territory during daytimes.

 As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned
 down with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when
 we can follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our
 birds, such as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.
  Bring on the Tiny Tags!

 Anne

 On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:

 I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I
 would like to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are
 they on the move or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
 Thanks.
 Sue Rakow
 --
 *Cayugabirds-L List Info:*
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread J. Sullivan
MUSTER .

Would that be only used among us locals?

Jae 

 On Mar 4, 2014, at 11:02 AM, Linda Orkin wingmagi...@gmail.com wrote:
 
 Sue, thanks for enjoying the list and for being so eager to learn.  All of us 
 who admire, respect and enjoy crows are trying to retire the collective noun 
 of murder as it can either imply that crows are evil or that they should be 
 murdered.  Another term could be Congress of crows (which in this day and age 
 can also be pejorative) or can also be a Muster.  Which would seem 
 appropriate especially at this time of year as they gather or when they all 
 raucously mob a Great-horned Owl.  I like Muster, the definition is apropos.  
 
 Keep watching!!!
 
 Linda Orkin
 Ithaca, NY
 
 
 On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Sue Rakow sue.ra...@gmail.com wrote:
 This is very helpful information! Thank  you so much for the complete 
 picture. I am learning so much from being on this list serve. I am very 
 grateful!
 Sue Rakow
 
 
 On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:
 These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.  
 Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering 
 when we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of 
 year may offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned 
 Owls.  
 
 In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant snow 
 cover for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.  Crows 
 don't necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may go as 
 far as an area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they are 
 familiar with from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that are 
 made up of migrants as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets unusually 
 snowy and cold, they may move further south.  (We really don't know much of 
 the repeat migratory routes of individual crows.  We do know that birds 
 tagged in Ithaca in winter are then seen on territories in Canada, VT, New 
 Hampshire in summer, and that some birds RAISED in Ithaca have been 
 observed or shot in winter, in such places as Maryland, West VA, and 
 Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)
 
 In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off familiar 
 areas.  During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to detect 
 predators in day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks flock 
 up still more in places that offer good roosting sites, which probably 
 includes wind breaks, places from which owls can be detected at night. So 
 they are probably gathering both for safety in numbers and also because 
 they all agree on what makes a good site.  Cities may offer fewer 
 predators, but also the lights may allow them to see the predators.  
 Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have sampled food 
 sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps by 
 following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.
 
 So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for northern 
 crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields 
 interspersed with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be 
 important in cold winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with 
 large groups of lit trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These 
 seem to be attractive.
 
 Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows will 
 be returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are already 
 calling on territory during daytimes.
 
 As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned down 
 with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when we 
 can follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our 
 birds, such as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.  
 Bring on the Tiny Tags!
 
 Anne
 
 On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:
 
 I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I would 
 like to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are they on 
 the move or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
 Thanks.
 Sue Rakow
 --
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 Don't ask what your bird club can do for you, ask what you can do for your  
 bird club!! ')_,/
 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread Linda Orkin
No according to ask.com it's an actual alternative.  Spread it far and wide.

Linda


On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 12:03 PM, J. Sullivan blueheron...@yahoo.com wrote:

 MUSTER .

 Would that be only used among us locals?

 Jae

 On Mar 4, 2014, at 11:02 AM, Linda Orkin wingmagi...@gmail.com wrote:

 Sue, thanks for enjoying the list and for being so eager to learn.  All of
 us who admire, respect and enjoy crows are trying to retire the collective
 noun of murder as it can either imply that crows are evil or that they
 should be murdered.  Another term could be Congress of crows (which in this
 day and age can also be pejorative) or can also be a Muster.  Which would
 seem appropriate especially at this time of year as they gather or when
 they all raucously mob a Great-horned Owl.  I like Muster, the definition
 is apropos.

 Keep watching!!!

 Linda Orkin
 Ithaca, NY


 On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Sue Rakow sue.ra...@gmail.com wrote:

 This is very helpful information! Thank  you so much for the complete
 picture. I am learning so much from being on this list serve. I am very
 grateful!
 Sue Rakow


 On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:

 These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.
  Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering
 when we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of
 year may offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned
 Owls.

 In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant
 snow cover for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.
  Crows don't necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may
 go as far as an area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they
 are familiar with from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that
 are made up of migrants as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets
 unusually snowy and cold, they may move further south.  (We really don't
 know much of the repeat migratory routes of individual crows.  We do know
 that birds tagged in Ithaca in winter are then seen on territories in
 Canada, VT, New Hampshire in summer, and that some birds RAISED in Ithaca
 have been observed or shot in winter, in such places as Maryland, West VA,
 and Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)

 In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off familiar
 areas.  During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to detect
 predators in day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks flock
 up still more in places that offer good roosting sites, which probably
 includes wind breaks, places from which owls can be detected at night. So
 they are probably gathering both for safety in numbers and also because
 they all agree on what makes a good site.  Cities may offer fewer
 predators, but also the lights may allow them to see the predators.
  Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have sampled food
 sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps by
 following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.

 So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for northern
 crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields
 interspersed with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be
 important in cold winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with
 large groups of lit trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These
 seem to be attractive.

 Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows
 will be returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are
 already calling on territory during daytimes.

 As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned
 down with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when
 we can follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our
 birds, such as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.
  Bring on the Tiny Tags!

 Anne

 On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:

 I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I
 would like to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are
 they on the move or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
 Thanks.
 Sue Rakow
 --
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread jensdreamb
Recently, I found 2 dead crows near each other.  I was surprised to find this.  
Is this unusual?



-Original Message-
From: Linda Orkin wingmagi...@gmail.com
To: Sue Rakow sue.ra...@gmail.com
Cc: Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com; cayugabirds Cayugabirds-L@cornell.edu
Sent: Tue, Mar 4, 2014 11:02 am
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill




Sue, thanks for enjoying the list and for being so eager to learn.  All of us 
who admire, respect and enjoy crows are trying to retire the collective noun of 
murder as it can either imply that crows are evil or that they should be 
murdered.  Another term could be Congress of crows (which in this day and age 
can also be pejorative) or can also be a Muster.  Which would seem appropriate 
especially at this time of year as they gather or when they all raucously mob a 
Great-horned Owl.  I like Muster, the definition is apropos.  


Keep watching!!!


Linda Orkin

Ithaca, NY




On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Sue Rakow sue.ra...@gmail.com wrote:

This is very helpful information! Thank  you so much for the complete picture. 
I am learning so much from being on this list serve. I am very grateful!
Sue Rakow





On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:

These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.  
Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering when 
we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of year may 
offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned Owls.  


In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant snow cover 
for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.  Crows don't 
necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may go as far as an 
area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they are familiar with 
from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that are made up of migrants 
as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets unusually snowy and cold, they may 
move further south.  (We really don't know much of the repeat migratory routes 
of individual crows.  We do know that birds tagged in Ithaca in winter are then 
seen on territories in Canada, VT, New Hampshire in summer, and that some birds 
RAISED in Ithaca have been observed or shot in winter, in such places as 
Maryland, West VA, and Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)


In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off familiar areas. 
 During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to detect predators in 
day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks flock up still more in 
places that offer good roosting sites, which probably includes wind breaks, 
places from which owls can be detected at night. So they are probably gathering 
both for safety in numbers and also because they all agree on what makes a good 
site.  Cities may offer fewer predators, but also the lights may allow them to 
see the predators.  Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have 
sampled food sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps 
by following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.


So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for northern 
crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields interspersed 
with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be important in cold 
winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with large groups of lit 
trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These seem to be attractive.


Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows will be 
returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are already calling on 
territory during daytimes.


As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned down 
with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when we can 
follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our birds, such 
as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.  Bring on the Tiny 
Tags!


Anne



On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:




I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I would like 
to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are they on the move 
or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
Thanks.
Sue Rakow


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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

2014-03-04 Thread Ann Mitchell
I agree, Linda. Muster seems quite appropriate. Thanks.


On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 1:11 PM, jensdre...@aol.com wrote:

 Recently, I found 2 dead crows near each other.  I was surprised to find
 this.  Is this unusual?


 -Original Message-
 From: Linda Orkin wingmagi...@gmail.com
 To: Sue Rakow sue.ra...@gmail.com
 Cc: Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com; cayugabirds 
 Cayugabirds-L@cornell.edu
 Sent: Tue, Mar 4, 2014 11:02 am
 Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows on South Hill

   Sue, thanks for enjoying the list and for being so eager to learn.  All
 of us who admire, respect and enjoy crows are trying to retire the
 collective noun of murder as it can either imply that crows are evil or
 that they should be murdered.  Another term could be Congress of crows
 (which in this day and age can also be pejorative) or can also be a
 Muster.  Which would seem appropriate especially at this time of year as
 they gather or when they all raucously mob a Great-horned Owl.  I like
 Muster, the definition is apropos.

  Keep watching!!!

  Linda Orkin
  Ithaca, NY


 On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Sue Rakow sue.ra...@gmail.com wrote:

 This is very helpful information! Thank  you so much for the complete
 picture. I am learning so much from being on this list serve. I am very
 grateful!
 Sue Rakow


 On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 8:26 AM, Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:

 These groups are winter roosts, and they are nothing new in crow life.
  Despite what urban residents sometimes think, crows didn't start gathering
 when we set out cities for them to use.  Roosting in groups at any time of
 year may offer safety in numbers from night predators, such as Great Horned
 Owls.

  In winter, birds living in northern areas that usually have constant
 snow cover for months do migrate south--Canada, areas of New England.
  Crows don't necessarily have a particular area they migrate TO.  They may
 go as far as an area that is usually ok for foraging, perhaps one that they
 are familiar with from previous migrations.  There they form flocks that
 are made up of migrants as well as wide-foraging locals.  If it gets
 unusually snowy and cold, they may move further south.  (We really don't
 know much of the repeat migratory routes of individual crows.  We do know
 that birds tagged in Ithaca in winter are then seen on territories in
 Canada, VT, New Hampshire in summer, and that some birds RAISED in Ithaca
 have been observed or shot in winter, in such places as Maryland, West VA,
 and Pennsylvania, as well as in Cortland, Auburn, Geneva)

  In the winter flocks, birds are foraging in open fields and off
 familiar areas.  During foraging, flocks offer some safety in numbers to
 detect predators in day (hawks, hunters, whatever).  At night the flocks
 flock up still more in places that offer good roosting sites, which
 probably includes wind breaks, places from which owls can be detected at
 night. So they are probably gathering both for safety in numbers and also
 because they all agree on what makes a good site.  Cities may offer fewer
 predators, but also the lights may allow them to see the predators.
  Finally roosting in flocks that include birds that have sampled food
 sources widely may allow birds to find new food sources, perhaps by
 following the most assured and directed birds leaving the roost.

  So--Upstate NY has its own crows and is ideally positioned for
 northern crows--so flocks become big.  They like the agricultural fields
 interspersed with trees and lots of running water sources (which may be
 important in cold winters)...and we also offer lots of smaller cities, with
 large groups of lit trees in their downtowns or college campuses. These
 seem to be attractive.

  Mid-late March is the start of the breeding season and flocking crows
 will be returning to their breeding latitudes.  Our Ithaca pairs are
 already calling on territory during daytimes.

  As I say, some of this story is surmised from the patterns, not pinned
 down with hard data on individuals!  We know what our tagged birds do, when
 we can follow them.  But we would love to have gps data coming in from our
 birds, such as the snowy owls and golden eagles give their researchers.
  Bring on the Tiny Tags!

  Anne

   On Mar 4, 2014, at 7:19 AM, Sue Rakow wrote:

I observed the murder of crows on Sunday evening. It was stunning. I
 would like to know more about why they gather in such large groups. Are
 they on the move or are they local? Can anyone help me understand?
 Thanks.
 Sue Rakow
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 Subscribe, Configuration and Leave
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl on nest

2013-02-19 Thread Anne Clark
HI All,

A very quick comment, although I do not in fact know of any data on how 
effective mobbing of owls is in moving them any substantial distance.

Crows are indeed migratory in parts of their range and they do indeed often 
join roosts in winter.  If they have migrated, they won't be present to defend 
or disturb early owl nesting, true.  BUT many crows in Ithaca are returning to 
their territories almost every day, and some do NOT join winter roosts but 
sleep at home.  (That is data based, gathered by Ithaca crow-ers, based on 
radio tracking crows in some pretty frigid weather all the way through winter.) 
 

We regularly see our marked birds on territories for periods in the morning and 
early evening, even for those who may join a local roost in Cayuga Heights or 
at Titus Towers or along the slopes of Spencer Rd or Morris Heights.  So at 
least here, most adult crows (that is, breeders with territories) probably are 
not returning after a long winter flocking around.  They are making regular 
moves locally for food and safety and sociality, but they are also monitoring 
their territories regularly.  Hence that owl with 40 crows after it was 
probably on the territory of one or more of the groups harassing it.  You don't 
often see predators being harassed by big loud groups out at the Stevenson Road 
compost, unless they have actually caught a crow.  One or a few birds may bomb 
a red-tailed hawk but 50 crows don't follow.   (Goodness knows one could chase 
redtails all day out there.)

As for owls attacking crow roosts, again, I have no data except to say I have 
never seen signs of owl predation under the trees of roosts I have checked.  A 
screaming lot of crows in the middle of the night might be off putting for a 
stealth predator.  And a wild turkey makes a more substantial meal. 

So are crows successful in their efforts?  I just don't know.  Locating nesting 
owls might be good for pre-nesting crows so they know where NOT to nest, I 
suppose. Crow nests, by the way, are often or usually NOT in the middle of a 
territory, but located in the right tree, even if on a corner of a territory. 
 Crow nests built at the normal first-nest time of year (Mar-April) are rarely 
out where they can easily be seen.  Usually they are in conifers and range from 
easy to see as a dark spot against light sky to basically invisible to  humans. 

Is every crow harassing an owl bent on moving a dangerous animal, as opposed to 
showing off a bit or simply blinding joining its parents?  Don't know that 
either. (I doubt they need the exercise though!)  WE do know that crows 
sometimes lose their lives during hawk-owl harassment. And it seems logical 
that larger groups of crows will do a better job of moving a predator. 


And I should let everyone know:   a trio of quonking ravens was at the 
Stevenson Road compost yesterday about 1300h for 10 min or so, flying around, 
landing in trees where crows were sitting and apparently making them fly up 
before quickly moving to the next tree.  One looked young from my view of its 
brownish primaries.  I was unfortunately walking a dog so saw it all through 
trees, and they were gone by the time I was in position to watch with a clear 
view.  But there were three.

Anne




 
On Feb 18, 2013, at 11:32 PM, nutter.d...@me.com nutter.d...@me.com wrote:

 I'm thinking more about crows and owls. It's a substitute for actually 
 knowing, so please chime in, Anne, or anyone else who knows better than I do 
 what really goes on. I've been impressed by how much the Great Horned Owls in 
 Renwick have withstood crows' harassment, and that impression flavored my 
 earlier comment.
 
 A big purpose of the harassment of owls by crows ought to be to drive the 
 predators away so the owls will cease being a danger to the harassing crows. 
 But it doesn't look to me like it would work very well. Great Horned Owls are 
 low-light, quiet, fairly slow (I think), stealth hunters, and in the daytime 
 they are not a danger to crows nor to anyone else. 
 
 A roosting owl might be convinced to move, but would it move far enough to 
 shift its nighttime hunting area? Where would it not be in some crows' 
 territory? At some point the owl has to stop being driven, and I have heard 
 crows quit. Nesting owls, if they are to be successful, and obviously 
 sometimes they are successful, must not be ousted by crows for several 
 months, starting in early winter, when (I assume) crows are not defending 
 territories nor clearing them of owls starting a nest. Last spring's crow 
 nest can make a nice owl nest, which must be a disheartening discovery, to 
 find owls living smack-dab in the middle of the territory when the crows 
 return at the end of winter. 
 
 In autumn and winter crows may travel for miles to roost during the night 
 when owls are hunting. By gathering thousands of crows out of outlying owls' 
 hunting territories, crows might improve their individual odds, but I would 
 think 

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl on nest

2013-02-18 Thread nutter.dave
I'm thinking more about crows and owls. It's a substitute for actually knowing, so please chime in, Anne, or anyone else who knows better than I do what really goes on.I've been impressed by how much the Great Horned Owls in Renwick have withstood crows' harassment, and that impression flavored my earlier comment.A big purpose of the harassment of owls by crows ought to be to drive the predators away so the owls will cease being a danger to the harassing crows. But it doesn't look to me like it would work very well. Great Horned Owls are low-light, quiet, fairly slow (I think), stealth hunters, and in the daytime they are not a danger to crows nor to anyone else.A roosting owl might be convinced to move, but would it move far enough to shift its nighttime hunting area? Where would it not be in some crows' territory? At some point the owl has to stop being driven, and I have heard crows quit. Nesting owls, if they are to be successful, and obviously sometimes they are successful, must not be ousted by crowsfor several months, starting in early winter, when (I assume)crows arenot defending territories nor clearing them of owls starting a nest. Last spring's crow nest can make a nice owl nest, which must be a disheartening discovery, to find owls living smack-dab in the middle of the territory when the crows return at the end of winter.In autumn and winter crows may travel for miles to roost during the night when owls are hunting. By gathering thousands of crows out of outlying owls' hunting territories, crows might improve their individual odds, but I would think that any owl residing near the massive crow roost, or who came to visit, would have easy eating. Maybe the crows make a special effort to clear owls from the crow roosting neighborhood, but the roost is so obvious that I wonder how much good it would do.In the crow nesting season, of course, the crow female and young are stuck and vulnerable. Again, the crows have a good reason to try to drive an owl away, but I would think that a Great Horned Owl can still travel a long distance to hunt, and a crow nest which I can see in a tree during the day is probably similarly obvious to the owl at night. The crow nesting season starts after the owls are well underway. Do crows choose not to nest near Great Horned Owls? I bet the owls' hunting ranges so large as to encompass several crow nests anyway.I assume that the harassment of owls has some direct benefit in terms of predation reduction, but I doubt it's very large. I think either crows harass owls so much because that's one of the few things they can do to reduce predation when they can afford the time and energy, or else there are other benefits, such as getting to know what a Great Horned Owl looks like, or showing off for other crows, or crow family bonding, or being generally useful to the crow flock, or socializing, or getting exercise, or even having fun.Crows' lot looks very frustrating - and dangerous - regarding Great Horned Owls.I sympathize with the crows, too, but also I find their situation more complex and hard to figure.--Dave NutterOn Feb 16, 2013, at 03:18 PM, Anne Clark anneb.cl...@gmail.com wrote:Right--and come mid-April, some person might just pick up a partly eaten, headless, tagged female crow under her nest and think...it was her first nest--what a short life, only 5 years, her nestlings gone, too! She could have had 6 more years at least, or more.Boredom probably doesn't describe why the crows leave off (have seen them harrying owls for at least 6 hours)...nor a lack of memory for why they start over the next day. The crows aren't moving on...they are trying to move a dangerous thing out of their neighborhood, where their own kids need a chance at life.Yup--I took the bait. The story is all in your perspective, but I always find US interesting in siding with the one who has the kids at the time!Holding no grudges against owl-lovers,AnneOn Feb 16, 2013, at 2:05 PM, Mona Bearor wrote:I'll be thinking of your explaination when I visit the nest again, and I'll be watching for that owl to sigh and plan its nightly menu!Mona Bearor
So. Glens Falls, NYOn 2/16/2013 12:21 PM, nutter.d...@me.com wrote:I think this is the sort of crap that Great Horned Owls have to put up with, and they get used to it. I suspect that what you saw is probably the pattern. Every day some crow "discovers" the owl, still in the same place on its nest, and raises the alarm, just as it would for an owl roosting in a new spot every day. All the other crows join in for awhile, so the whole crow community is aware of its presence, and the younger crows learn, "We don't like these guys." When they're satisfied and bored with lack of reaction from the owl on the nest, they move on. The owl sighs, reminds itself to eat some of those bastards come nightfall, and continues incubating, brooding, or guarding its young.--Dave Nutter On Feb 15, 2013, at 06:29 PM, Mona Bearor conservebi...@gmail.com wrote: Yesterday morning 

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl on nest

2013-02-17 Thread Mona Bearor
Thanks for your note, Anne, and for putting the crows viewpoint out 
there. I didn't mean to disrespect the crows - I find them fascinating, 
and often spend an hour or more watching hundreds of them on a discarded 
produce pile at a pig farm near here.   There are ravens as well, and it 
is a great opportunity to study both species as they interact. My intent 
was to say that I'd be watching the owl for behavioral clues; my choice 
of words was poor.  You are right that we humans tend to side with the 
one with the kids; I find that I usually root for the smaller species 
as well - but I do love to see a raptor tear apart and consume prey!

Mona Bearor
So. Glens Falls, NY

On 2/16/2013 3:18 PM, Anne Clark wrote:

 Right--and come mid-April, some person might just pick up a partly 
 eaten, headless, tagged female crow under her nest and think...it was 
 her first nest--what a short life, only 5 years, her nestlings gone, 
 too!  She could have had 6 more years at least, or more.

 Boredom probably doesn't describe why the crows leave off (have seen 
 them harrying owls for at least 6 hours)...nor a lack of memory for 
 why they start over the next day.  The crows aren't moving on...they 
 are trying to move a dangerous thing out of their neighborhood, where 
 their own kids need a chance at life.

 Yup--I took the bait.  The story is all in your perspective, but I 
 always find US interesting in siding with the one who has the kids at 
 the time!

 Holding no grudges against owl-lovers,

 Anne





 On Feb 16, 2013, at 2:05 PM, Mona Bearor wrote:

 I'll be thinking of your explaination when I visit the nest again, 
 and I'll be watching for that owl to sigh and plan its nightly menu!
 Mona Bearor
 So. Glens Falls, NY
 On 2/16/2013 12:21 PM, nutter.d...@me.com wrote:
 I think this is the sort of crap that Great Horned Owls have to put 
 up with, and they get used to it. I suspect that what you saw is 
 probably the pattern. Every day some crow discovers the owl, still 
 in the same place on its nest, and raises the alarm, just as it 
 would for an owl roosting in a new spot every day. All the other 
 crows join in for awhile, so the whole crow community is aware of 
 its presence, and the younger crows learn, We don't like these 
 guys. When they're satisfied and bored with lack of reaction from 
 the owl on the nest, they move on. The owl sighs, reminds itself to 
 eat some of those bastards come nightfall, and continues incubating, 
 brooding, or guarding its young.
 --Dave Nutter

 On Feb 15, 2013, at 06:29 PM, Mona Bearor conservebi...@gmail.com 
 wrote:

 Yesterday morning I observed about 50 crows mobbing a Great Horned 
 Owl on a nest.  It made me wonder if the crows could make the owl 
 abandon the nest with repeated harassment, or if they would just 
 give up after a while.  I had an appointment so I couldn't stick 
 around too long, but did watch this behavior for over 20 minutes 
 non-stop. The owl was still on the nest today.

 Any thoughts on this?
 Mona Bearor So. Glens Falls, NY

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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl on nest

2013-02-16 Thread Jody W Enck
Don’t know if owls and crows really think like this, but it would be a shame if 
they didn’t!!  Dave, you should write a book.

Jody Enck


From: nutter.d...@me.com
Sent: ‎February‎ ‎16‎, ‎2013 ‎12‎:‎21‎ ‎PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl on nest

I think this is the sort of crap that Great Horned Owls have to put up with, 
and they get used to it. I suspect that what you saw is probably the pattern. 
Every day some crow discovers the owl, still in the same place on its nest, 
and raises the alarm, just as it would for an owl roosting in a new spot every 
day. All the other crows join in for awhile, so the whole crow community is 
aware of its presence, and the younger crows learn, We don't like these guys. 
When they're satisfied and bored with lack of reaction from the owl on the 
nest, they move on. The owl sighs, reminds itself to eat some of those bastards 
come nightfall, and continues incubating, brooding, or guarding its young.

--Dave Nutter

On Feb 15, 2013, at 06:29 PM, Mona Bearor conservebi...@gmail.com wrote:

Yesterday morning I observed about 50 crows mobbing a Great Horned Owl on a 
nest.  It made me wonder if the crows could make the owl abandon the nest with 
repeated harassment, or if they would just give up after a while.  I had an 
appointment so I couldn't stick around too long, but did watch this behavior 
for over 20 minutes non-stop.  The owl was still on the nest today.

Any thoughts on this?
Mona Bearor So. Glens Falls, NY

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl on nest

2013-02-16 Thread Mona Bearor
I'll be thinking of your explaination when I visit the nest again, and 
I'll be watching for that owl to sigh and plan its nightly menu!

Mona Bearor
So. Glens Falls, NY

On 2/16/2013 12:21 PM, nutter.d...@me.com wrote:
 I think this is the sort of crap that Great Horned Owls have to put up 
 with, and they get used to it. I suspect that what you saw is probably 
 the pattern. Every day some crow discovers the owl, still in the 
 same place on its nest, and raises the alarm, just as it would for an 
 owl roosting in a new spot every day. All the other crows join in for 
 awhile, so the whole crow community is aware of its presence, and the 
 younger crows learn, We don't like these guys. When they're 
 satisfied and bored with lack of reaction from the owl on the nest, 
 they move on. The owl sighs, reminds itself to eat some of those 
 bastards come nightfall, and continues incubating, brooding, or 
 guarding its young.
 --Dave Nutter

 On Feb 15, 2013, at 06:29 PM, Mona Bearor conservebi...@gmail.com wrote:

 Yesterday morning I observed about 50 crows mobbing a Great Horned 
 Owl on a nest.  It made me wonder if the crows could make the owl 
 abandon the nest with repeated harassment, or if they would just give 
 up after a while.  I had an appointment so I couldn't stick around 
 too long, but did watch this behavior for over 20 minutes non-stop.  
 The owl was still on the nest today.

 Any thoughts on this?
 Mona Bearor So. Glens Falls, NY

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows mobbing Great Horned Owl on nest

2013-02-16 Thread Anne Clark

Right--and come mid-April, some person might just pick up a partly eaten, 
headless, tagged female crow under her nest and think...it was her first 
nest--what a short life, only 5 years, her nestlings gone, too!  She could have 
had 6 more years at least, or more.

Boredom probably doesn't describe why the crows leave off (have seen them 
harrying owls for at least 6 hours)...nor a lack of memory for why they start 
over the next day.  The crows aren't moving on...they are trying to move a 
dangerous thing out of their neighborhood, where their own kids need a chance 
at life.

Yup--I took the bait.  The story is all in your perspective, but I always find 
US interesting in siding with the one who has the kids at the time! 

Holding no grudges against owl-lovers, 

Anne





On Feb 16, 2013, at 2:05 PM, Mona Bearor wrote:

 I'll be thinking of your explaination when I visit the nest again, and I'll 
 be watching for that owl to sigh and plan its nightly menu!
 Mona Bearor
 So. Glens Falls, NY
 On 2/16/2013 12:21 PM, nutter.d...@me.com wrote:
 I think this is the sort of crap that Great Horned Owls have to put up with, 
 and they get used to it. I suspect that what you saw is probably the 
 pattern. Every day some crow discovers the owl, still in the same place on 
 its nest, and raises the alarm, just as it would for an owl roosting in a 
 new spot every day. All the other crows join in for awhile, so the whole 
 crow community is aware of its presence, and the younger crows learn, We 
 don't like these guys. When they're satisfied and bored with lack of 
 reaction from the owl on the nest, they move on. The owl sighs, reminds 
 itself to eat some of those bastards come nightfall, and continues 
 incubating, brooding, or guarding its young.
 --Dave Nutter
 
 On Feb 15, 2013, at 06:29 PM, Mona Bearor conservebi...@gmail.com wrote:
 
 Yesterday morning I observed about 50 crows mobbing a Great Horned Owl on a 
 nest.  It made me wonder if the crows could make the owl abandon the nest 
 with repeated harassment, or if they would just give up after a while.  I 
 had an appointment so I couldn't stick around too long, but did watch this 
 behavior for over 20 minutes non-stop.  The owl was still on the nest today.
 
 Any thoughts on this?
 Mona Bearor So. Glens Falls, NY
 
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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows coming in to roost

2013-01-07 Thread Kevin J. McGowan
Thanks for the information.  When we were radio-tracking crows to roost we 
found they could spend the night in lots of different places.  

Kevin



-Original Message-
From: bounce-72559731-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-72559731-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of W. Larry Hymes
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2013 4:37 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Crows coming in to roost

A few minutes ago hundreds of crows flew over east hill heading from the 
direction of the compost piles to find roosts.  It looked as though some headed 
towards downtown and others headed more towards campus.  Kevin, are crows 
faithful to a roost, or do they decide on the spur of the moment where they 
would like to go.  I got the impression that many of the birds couldn't make up 
their minds and kept wavering back and forth.  They kept calling incessantly, 
as though having a heated discussion as to which way to go on this particular 
night.

Larry

-- 


W. Larry Hymes
120 Vine Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
(H) 607-277-0759, w...@cornell.edu



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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows coming in to roost

2013-01-07 Thread Kevin J. McGowan



From: bounce-72559871-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-72559871-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of 
nutter.d...@me.com
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2013 8:29 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows coming in to roost

 I think there are some crows which stick to their territories, while 
others sleep in central roosts and feed in farm country.

--Dave Nutter


Good guess.  Most of the crows we radio-tracked spent most of their nights 
sleeping on their home territories.  Their use of the large roosts was 
intermittent and unpredictable.  I suspect all the wandering visitors us the 
large roosts, but don't have the data to prove it.

Kevin

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows coming in to roost

2013-01-06 Thread Gary Kohlenberg
Larry,
North Campus is hosting many crows, what looks to be 1000+ . Most of 
them are in the trees by Robert Purcell Community Center, Appel Commons and the 
Observatory. I was surprised by them on the Christmas Bird Count as I hadn't 
been up there at dusk. 
Gary 
 

On Jan 6, 2013, at 4:36 PM, W. Larry Hymes wrote:

A few minutes ago hundreds of crows flew over east hill heading from the 
direction of the compost piles to find roosts.  It looked as though some headed 
towards downtown and others headed more towards campus.  Kevin, are crows 
faithful to a roost, or do they decide on the spur of the moment where they 
would like to go.  I got the impression that many of the birds couldn't make up 
their minds and kept wavering back and forth.  They kept calling incessantly, 
as though having a heated discussion as to which way to go on this particular 
night.

Larry

-- 


W. Larry Hymes
120 Vine Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
(H) 607-277-0759, w...@cornell.edu



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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows coming in to roost

2013-01-06 Thread nutter.dave
Late this afternoon Laurie and I went on a short walk on the Cayuga Waterfront Trail between NYS-89 and the Flood Control Channel along Cass Park. I brought my scope in hopes of seeing a Turkey Vulture over Cayuga Heights, but no such luck. Instead, while skies over me were empty, I saw a steady trickle of individual southbound crows over the eastern horizon. Later on, and now I wish I'd noted the time, a flock of eastbound crows suddenly appeared over West Hill, dozens of birds, followed seconds later by another and another flock all heading across the valley. I didn't trace the complete trajectory of the birds on either hill, but I was struck by the sudden late front of western birds while those over East Hill had already been moving and presumably were already close to a North Campus roost. These evening commuting flocks were much like the morning commuting flocks I saw on New Years day, silent. Meanwhile a few individual crows went about their business in trees I could see. On New Year's morning it seemed to be the local birds who called when the commuters flew past. I think there are some crows which stick to their territories, while others sleep in central roosts and feed in farm country.--Dave NutterOn Jan 06, 2013, at 05:00 PM, Gary Kohlenberg jg...@cornell.edu wrote:Larry, North Campus is hosting many crows, what looks to be 1000+ . Most of them are in the trees by Robert Purcell Community Center, Appel Commons and the Observatory. I was surprised by them on the Christmas Bird Count as I hadn't been up there at dusk.  GaryOn Jan 6, 2013, at 4:36 PM, W. Larry Hymes wrote:  A few minutes ago hundreds of crows flew over east hill heading from the direction of the compost piles to find roosts. It looked as though some headed towards downtown and others headed more towards campus. Kevin, are crows faithful to a roost, or do they decide on the spur of the moment where they would like to go. I got the impression that many of the birds couldn't make up their minds and kept wavering back and forth. They kept calling incessantly, as though having a heated discussion as to which way to go on this particular night.  Larry  --    W. Larry Hymes 120 Vine Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 (H) 607-277-0759, w...@cornell.edu    --  Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm  ARCHIVES: 1) cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html'http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html  Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/  -- --  Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm  ARCHIVES: 1) cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html'http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html  Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/  -- 
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

2010-12-16 Thread Dave Nutter
Andrew, Crows are very social animals. They live in family groups during the breeding season, with a multi-year learning period, and young birds raised the previous year often help their parents to raise their younger siblings. In the non-breeding season crows gather into massive roosting congregations in the late afternoon. In recent years these roosts have been much more conspicuous to people as the birds have chosen urban areas with large trees. In the morning they commute to farm fields to search for waste corn or to dumps (or the Cornell food services composting facility) for waste food. Toward March and the onset of breeding season the roost breaks up and the birds return to their family territories. I think some local birds here retain residency in their territories during winter as well. Those winter roosts are amazing, just to consider all the biomass, and the area over which they must be feeding. Their socializing is noisy and active before and after their actual sleeping time and includes areas outside the actual roost. They are harmless, of course, but people whose knowledge of biology extends only to Alfred Hitchcock movies may be unnerved. And people whose possessions are underneath roost trees with hundreds of birds will be understandably unhappy with the birds' defecation. I like to watch the flocks' swirling flight.Kevin McGowan has been studying crows in this area for years, and I hope he will expand upon (and if necessary correct) this post. His project is responsible for the crows with various colored wing tags, each color representing a different year. Most crows are tagged in the nest before they are old enough to leave. Each bird's tags has a 2-digit code, and if you tell Kevin which bird you have seen when and where, he may return the favor with a brief life history of that individual. --Dave NutterOn Dec 15, 2010, at 07:05 PM, Andrew Roe andrew.walker@gmail.com wrote:This is only my secondwinter in Ithaca (I'm a grad student, here from the southeast) so I don't really know how normal this is- but there seem to be an ENORMOUS number of crows around downtown Ithaca and Cornell- swirling at dusk, covering roofs, nearly toppling trees, blotting out the sun, etc.


Can someone in the know let me know what's going on? Are these all birdspassing through, or is there some sort of monumental attack on the Lab of O in the works?

Thanks,

Andrew


RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

2010-12-16 Thread Marie P Read
I happened to be driving to Rochester through Geneva a week ago at dusk, and 
there was a huge roost (or pre-roost staging area) of crows gathering in the 
park at the north end of Seneca Lake too. Thousands of crows silhouetted in the 
trees at sunset. Very cool to watch.

Marie


Marie Read Wildlife Photography
452 Ringwood Road
Freeville NY  13068 USA

Phone  607-539-6608
e-mail   m...@cornell.edu

http://www.marieread.com
http://www.agpix.com/mari



On Dec 15, 2010, at 07:05 PM, Andrew Roe andrew.walker@gmail.com wrote:

This is only my second winter in Ithaca (I'm a grad student, here from the 
southeast) so I don't really know how normal this is- but there seem to be an 
ENORMOUS number of crows around downtown Ithaca and Cornell- swirling at dusk, 
covering roofs, nearly toppling trees, blotting out the sun, etc.

Can someone in the know let me know what's going on? Are these all birds 
passing through, or is there some sort of monumental attack on the Lab of O in 
the works?

Thanks,

Andrew

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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

2010-12-16 Thread Kevin J. McGowan
I have little to add and nothing to correct in Dave' nice summary.  Crows in 
and around Ithaca usually choose among several modest roosts (500-5,000 crows). 
 Some years the main Ithaca roost is hardly noticeable, and in others it's in 
your face.  The crows typically stage on the Cornell and Ithaca Country Club 
golf courses before heading to the main roost.  Exactly where the final roost 
is changes between and within seasons.  I have not been downtown in the 
evening, and I do not know where the final roost is at this time.

Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Instructor
Home Study Course in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
k...@cornell.edumailto:k...@cornell.edu
607-254-2452

From: bounce-7531176-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-7531176-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Dave Nutter
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 7:27 AM
To: cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

Andrew,
Crows are very social animals.  They live in family groups during the breeding 
season,
with a multi-year learning period, and young birds raised the previous year 
often help
their parents to raise their younger siblings.  In the non-breeding season 
crows gather into
massive roosting congregations in the late afternoon.  In recent years these 
roosts have
been much more conspicuous to people as the birds have chosen urban areas with 
large
trees.  In the morning they commute to farm fields to search for waste corn or 
to dumps
(or the Cornell food services composting facility) for waste food.  Toward 
March and the
onset of breeding season the roost breaks up and the birds return to their 
family territories.
I think some local birds here retain residency in their territories during 
winter as well.  Those
winter roosts are amazing, just to consider all the biomass, and the area over 
which they
must be feeding.  Their socializing is noisy and active before and after their 
actual sleeping
time and includes areas outside the actual roost.  They are harmless, of 
course, but people
whose knowledge of biology extends only to Alfred Hitchcock movies may be 
unnerved.
And people whose possessions are underneath roost trees with hundreds of birds 
will be
understandably unhappy with the birds' defecation.  I like to watch the flocks' 
swirling flight.
Kevin McGowan has been studying crows in this area for years, and I hope he 
will expand
upon (and if necessary correct) this post.  His project is responsible for the 
crows with
various colored wing tags, each color representing a different year.  Most 
crows are tagged
in the nest before they are old enough to leave.  Each bird's tags has a 
2-digit code, and
if you tell Kevin which bird you have seen when and where, he may return the 
favor with
a brief life history of that individual.
--Dave Nutter



On Dec 15, 2010, at 07:05 PM, Andrew Roe andrew.walker@gmail.com wrote:
This is only my second winter in Ithaca (I'm a grad student, here from the 
southeast) so I don't really know how normal this is- but there seem to be an 
ENORMOUS number of crows around downtown Ithaca and Cornell- swirling at dusk, 
covering roofs, nearly toppling trees, blotting out the sun, etc.

Can someone in the know let me know what's going on? Are these all birds 
passing through, or is there some sort of monumental attack on the Lab of O in 
the works?

Thanks,

Andrew

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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

2010-12-16 Thread Kevin J. McGowan
I have an explanation of roosts at 
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/crowfaq.htm#roost

Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Instructor
Home Study Course in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
k...@cornell.edumailto:k...@cornell.edu
607-254-2452

From: bounce-7531499-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-7531499-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Kevin J. McGowan
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 9:19 AM
To: cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu
Subject: RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

I have little to add and nothing to correct in Dave' nice summary.  Crows in 
and around Ithaca usually choose among several modest roosts (500-5,000 crows). 
 Some years the main Ithaca roost is hardly noticeable, and in others it's in 
your face.  The crows typically stage on the Cornell and Ithaca Country Club 
golf courses before heading to the main roost.  Exactly where the final roost 
is changes between and within seasons.  I have not been downtown in the 
evening, and I do not know where the final roost is at this time.

Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Instructor
Home Study Course in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
k...@cornell.edumailto:k...@cornell.edu
607-254-2452

From: bounce-7531176-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-7531176-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Dave Nutter
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 7:27 AM
To: cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

Andrew,
Crows are very social animals.  They live in family groups during the breeding 
season,
with a multi-year learning period, and young birds raised the previous year 
often help
their parents to raise their younger siblings.  In the non-breeding season 
crows gather into
massive roosting congregations in the late afternoon.  In recent years these 
roosts have
been much more conspicuous to people as the birds have chosen urban areas with 
large
trees.  In the morning they commute to farm fields to search for waste corn or 
to dumps
(or the Cornell food services composting facility) for waste food.  Toward 
March and the
onset of breeding season the roost breaks up and the birds return to their 
family territories.
I think some local birds here retain residency in their territories during 
winter as well.  Those
winter roosts are amazing, just to consider all the biomass, and the area over 
which they
must be feeding.  Their socializing is noisy and active before and after their 
actual sleeping
time and includes areas outside the actual roost.  They are harmless, of 
course, but people
whose knowledge of biology extends only to Alfred Hitchcock movies may be 
unnerved.
And people whose possessions are underneath roost trees with hundreds of birds 
will be
understandably unhappy with the birds' defecation.  I like to watch the flocks' 
swirling flight.
Kevin McGowan has been studying crows in this area for years, and I hope he 
will expand
upon (and if necessary correct) this post.  His project is responsible for the 
crows with
various colored wing tags, each color representing a different year.  Most 
crows are tagged
in the nest before they are old enough to leave.  Each bird's tags has a 
2-digit code, and
if you tell Kevin which bird you have seen when and where, he may return the 
favor with
a brief life history of that individual.
--Dave Nutter



On Dec 15, 2010, at 07:05 PM, Andrew Roe andrew.walker@gmail.com wrote:
This is only my second winter in Ithaca (I'm a grad student, here from the 
southeast) so I don't really know how normal this is- but there seem to be an 
ENORMOUS number of crows around downtown Ithaca and Cornell- swirling at dusk, 
covering roofs, nearly toppling trees, blotting out the sun, etc.

Can someone in the know let me know what's going on? Are these all birds 
passing through, or is there some sort of monumental attack on the Lab of O in 
the works?

Thanks,

Andrew

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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

2010-12-16 Thread Linda Post Van Buskirk
To clarify:  Auburn is at the head of Owasco Lake, the small Finger Lake that 
lies between Cayuga Lake and Skaneateles Lake.

Linda P. Van Buskirk, Ph.D.
Sr. Lecturer in Communication
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
607-255-2161; fax 607-254-1322

From: bounce-7530811-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-7530811-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Asher Hockett
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:36 PM
To: Andrew Roe
Cc: Cayugabirds-L@cornell.edu
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

Large roosts of crows are famous. A few years ago, Auburn, NY, near the upper 
reaches of Cayuga Lake, had to resort to drastic (but non-violent) measures to 
rid the city of tens of thousands of them. Maybe Ithaca has a reputation for 
being more crow friendly. Here we have our own reverse pied piper in crow 
expert Kevin McGowan, who will likely add his educated perspective to my 
unscientific babbling.

They are using the slopes of south hill which lead down into 6 Mile Creek and 
the neighborhoods bordering the creek area for the roost these days (or nights, 
actually).
On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:05 PM, Andrew Roe 
andrew.walker@gmail.commailto:andrew.walker@gmail.com wrote:
This is only my second winter in Ithaca (I'm a grad student, here from the 
southeast) so I don't really know how normal this is- but there seem to be an 
ENORMOUS number of crows around downtown Ithaca and Cornell- swirling at dusk, 
covering roofs, nearly toppling trees, blotting out the sun, etc.

Can someone in the know let me know what's going on? Are these all birds 
passing through, or is there some sort of monumental attack on the Lab of O in 
the works?

Thanks,

Andrew



--
asher

-Never play it the same way once.

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

2010-12-16 Thread David Smith
Just for the record, Auburn is at the foot of Owasco Lake and Owasco 
Creek flows north.  Owasco Inlet starts in vicinity of Groton nd flows 
north to Owasco Lake.


On 12/16/2010 3:43 PM, Linda Post Van Buskirk wrote:

 To clarify:  Auburn is at the head of Owasco Lake, the small Finger 
 Lake that lies between Cayuga Lake and Skaneateles Lake.

 Linda P. Van Buskirk, Ph.D.

 Sr. Lecturer in Communication

 Cornell University

 Ithaca, New York

 607-255-2161; fax 607-254-1322

 *From:*bounce-7530811-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
 [mailto:bounce-7530811-3493...@list.cornell.edu] *On Behalf Of *Asher 
 Hockett
 *Sent:* Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:36 PM
 *To:* Andrew Roe
 *Cc:* Cayugabirds-L@cornell.edu
 *Subject:* Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

 Large roosts of crows are famous. A few years ago, Auburn, NY, near 
 the upper reaches of Cayuga Lake, had to resort to drastic (but 
 non-violent) measures to rid the city of tens of thousands of them. 
 Maybe Ithaca has a reputation for being more crow friendly. Here we 
 have our own reverse pied piper in crow expert Kevin McGowan, who 
 will likely add his educated perspective to my unscientific babbling.

 They are using the slopes of south hill which lead down into 6 Mile 
 Creek and the neighborhoods bordering the creek area for the roost 
 these days (or nights, actually).

 On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:05 PM, Andrew Roe 
 andrew.walker@gmail.com mailto:andrew.walker@gmail.com wrote:

 This is only my second winter in Ithaca (I'm a grad student, here from 
 the southeast) so I don't really know how normal this is- but there 
 seem to be an ENORMOUS number of crows around downtown Ithaca and 
 Cornell- swirling at dusk, covering roofs, nearly toppling trees, 
 blotting out the sun, etc.

 Can someone in the know let me know what's going on? Are these all 
 birds passing through, or is there some sort of monumental attack on 
 the Lab of O in the works?

 Thanks,

 Andrew




 -- 
 asher

 -Never play it the same way once.



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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crows?

2010-12-15 Thread Asher Hockett
Large roosts of crows are famous. A few years ago, Auburn, NY, near the
upper reaches of Cayuga Lake, had to resort to drastic (but non-violent)
measures to rid the city of tens of thousands of them. Maybe Ithaca has a
reputation for being more crow friendly. Here we have our own reverse pied
piper in crow expert Kevin McGowan, who will likely add his educated
perspective to my unscientific babbling.

They are using the slopes of south hill which lead down into 6 Mile Creek
and the neighborhoods bordering the creek area for the roost these days (or
nights, actually).

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:05 PM, Andrew Roe andrew.walker@gmail.comwrote:

 This is only my second winter in Ithaca (I'm a grad student, here from the
 southeast) so I don't really know how normal this is- but there seem to be
 an ENORMOUS number of crows around downtown Ithaca and Cornell- swirling at
 dusk, covering roofs, nearly toppling trees, blotting out the sun, etc.

 Can someone in the know let me know what's going on? Are these all
 birds passing through, or is there some sort of monumental attack on the Lab
 of O in the works?

 Thanks,

 Andrew




-- 
asher

-Never play it the same way once.

--

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