Have you noticed swarms of crows passing over your house, or maybe overhead while driving home in the evening? Throughout the winter, you are likely seeing American Crows as they head off to spend the evening in a communal roost.
Crows are very intelligent and social. While crows spend most of the day in their own territories within family groups, some don’t stick around in the evening. While one bird may travel long distances to join a communal roost in one area, another may head to a different roost, and the rest in a family group could just stay in their territory. There is still much mystery to the reasoning around this, but it is quite the spectacle to see.
There are a few well known and easily observable roosts in Maine:
- Portland – Back Cove & Payson Park
- Waterville – near I- 95 exit 130
- Brewer – near City Hall
I recently made a short video about this, available on our YouTube channel.
A Maine native, Doug grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine in 2011. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013, a long time “dream job.” In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv and serves as York County Audubon board member and Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee.