Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Crow Migration

Crow migration has always been of interest to me. Crows are much maligned for some of their nasty behaviors. Crows are aggressive, noisy and rob other bird nests often flying off with hatchlings dangling from their beaks. As a result many people find crows obnoxious and tend to ingnore them if they can.

However, to me , the migration is quite spectacular. For starters, the vast numbers are impressive. At Red Deer in the evening a straggly line of crows fly from a south easterly direction all evening. There is much cawing and vigorous haphazard type of flying. As this procession carries on for hours, I sometimes think that they are flying a continuous route where they fly around a triangle of 20km or so. What do you think of this idea?

The next morning with the first light the crows begin flying again. This time they move south east. They are absent during the day as they have probably found fields which are a rich source of food . This process carries on throughout September. In the last few days of September the numbers suddenly dwindle as they have started their migration south. A few stragglers remain for a week or so . This morning at 6:30 AM a few crows could be heard. There was very little light at this time and I could not see the crows.

Many may people may choose to ignore the crows, but I find they put on a spectacular display of fall migrating behavior.

Now does anyone else have a favorite migration? email synkline@gmail.com

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