[Tweeters] Kenmore Crow Roost

Bruce McKenzie bmsh.mckenzie at gte.net
Sat Dec 10 15:44:45 PST 2005

After a couple of nights with freezing fog around Thanksgiving the crows
that had been spending the nights in the trees around our neighborhood
finally started leaving for a roost each evening. Between the owls harrasing
them during the night and being covered with a thick layer of frost in the
mornings I'm surprised they waited so long. This is later than the last two
years for them to join a roost.

Tracking the crows was a lot easier than the past couple years. The local
crows gathered with 75 to 100 others in the Poplar trees next to the 68th
Ave NE bridge over the Sammamish river, then headed to the swamp on the
north side of the Kenmore Park-N-Ride lot. Yep, this is the small Great Blue
heron rookery. By 5:00PM there are 300 to 500 crows in the swamp and the
trees in the Park-N-Ride lot. If you go up 73rd Ave NE or 80th Ave NE toward
NE 192nd St you'll see the crows in the trees on the north end of the swamp.

In past years I've seen herons occasionally during the winter at dawn and/or
dusk at the swamp, appearing to be spending the night. Even witnessed a bit
of nest repairs during the winter. Wonder what the herons think of the new
residents? Imagine they could end up chasing the crows out of the swamp.

Sitting in the car at the Kenmore Park-N-Ride lot (standing outside is not
advised without an umbrella), or on 73rd Ave NE, or 80th Ave NE from 4:00PM
till after 5:00PM is quite interesting. There appear to be three major and
two minor groups of crows. As the crows arrive there is a lot of jockeying
around for the preferred roost. At times it appears the flights are in
response to changes in the cloud colors during sunset. As time goes by most
of the crows merge into one large group and will fly around in formation,
looking much like a flock of pigeons. Quite a site to see such a large
number take off and fly around all at once!

Bruce McKenzie
Kenmore, WA USA
mailto:bmsh.mckenzie at gte.net

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