Jan 132017
 

Here is a picture of an American Crow sending out the alarm, regarding this Red-tailed Hawk in our poplar tree. There were two other crows not in the photo also circling around the hawk and creating quite a ruckus. Shortly after this photo was taken, the four birds flew off.

Helen and Larry Keller, Mark St., Peterborough

Crow harassing Red-tailed Hawk – Helen & Larry Keller

 

Dec 252016
 

I was wondering if you could tell me , why I am seeing so many crows around my house this time of year. There are as many as 20 to 50 of them, and they have been around for the past two weeks. I live on Armstrong Drive and have a green space behind the house, but the crows for the most part are on the road or the snow covered lawns. Usually we do not see these birds like this until early March.

L. Jones, Armstrong Drive

NOTE:    Although most crows do migrate south in the winter – often no further than the Great Lakes or northern U.S. – some do stay in the Kawarthas every year. Crows are very social animals and are almost always in flocks outside of the nesting season. I suspect the birds are “roosting” near your house – that is, spending the night together in the same trees. They are probably finding food in your neighbourhood (crabapples, regular apples, etc.) so that’s why you’re seeing them during the day. They also forage in nearby grain fields where they eat waste corn and other grains. Crows seem to prefer to roost in cities because of food availability and it may also be safer (i.e., no great horned owls to kill them at night!).  Some researchers think they also like the lights of cities at night. Who knows? D.M.

 

Crow roost in October - Barb Evett

Crow roost in October near Jackson Park – Barb Evett

American Crow - Wikimedia

American Crow – Wikimedia

Oct 082016
 

For many years the city American Crows roosted near the Kawartha Golf and Country Club grounds. Recently I noticed a lot of crow calling (before the sun is up) coming from the north of my location at Fairbairn and Raymond Streets. This morning I stepped out my front door at 6:30AM to see and hear groups of crows flying overhead to return to their territories. It sounds like hundreds of crows. I suspect the new roost is in the area of Sobeys on Chemong Road. I will check the Hillview and Daniel St areas. The roost might be near the Towerhill water tower and cell tower.  How exciting!!

UPDATE:

There is in fact a crow roost on the Towerhill Rd hill. The best access is from the back parking lot at the Northview church. It’s quite a sight…hundreds of crows. I saw them doing their social fly around….awesome!!

These are just a few of the crows in the picture I sent. They spotted me and took off to various trees to observe. Time was 6:30 PM Oct 4.

Barb Evett

Crow roost off of Towerhill Road - Oct. 4, 2016, Barb Evett

Crow roost off of Towerhill Road – Oct. 4, 2016, Barb Evett

Aug 082016
 

We regularly see the occasional Eastern Kingbird on our stretch of the Indian River over the summer months, but today (7th August) we were treated to a longer than usual visit of a family, made up of two adults and two offspring. They stayed around for a good part of the day. Peter managed to capture this photo of a feeding event. Most of the time the two young just perched together, occasionally preening, while the adults swooped about catching insects. At one stage we saw a American Crow fly low over the tree they favoured, which clearly was too close for comfort because the two adults went into attack mode and smartly chased it off upriver! Later in the day one of the adults also had a go at a couple of Northern Flickers after they alighted on a nearby tree, but they weren’t at all bothered and just stayed their ground.

Stephenie Armstrong

Eastern Kingbird family - August 7, 2016 - Peter Armstrong

Eastern Kingbird family – August 7, 2016 – Peter Armstrong

Eastern Kingbird - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Eastern Kingbird – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Jul 062016
 

We always have one or two pairs of American Crows around, so nothing special in that. I really don’t know how many constitutes a murder of crows but most unusually this morning (12 June) we had eight on the ground in our grassy riverside area – all very sleek, pristine, busy and inquisitive – and an unprecedented number within the last ten years. At one point five or six were jockeying for position on a moss-covered rock as seen in my rather poor photos (hyperactivity meets slow shutter speed!) so perhaps there was a bit of juvenile behaviour on show. Could we be seeing a single brood, I wonder – less of a murder, more of a family?

Peter Armstrong, Warsaw

Note:  Crows can have up nine young and, given the mid-June date, I think they could have been this year’s young. Crows often stay together in year-round family groups that consist of the breeding pair and offspring from the past two years. The whole family cooperates to raise young. (Source: All About Birds) D.M.

American Crows(2) June 12, 2016 - Peter Armstrong

American Crows(2) June 12, 2016 – Peter Armstrong

Jul 262015
 

My backyard crows managed to raise one fledgling this year. He seems to be a bit behind in maturity from the other crows I see. This is the first time he has come to the deck. I find baby crows so curious and clumsy. They investigate everything…learning how different plants and inanimate objects feel by touching everything with their beaks. It’s a highlight of my summer having them come in and observing up close.

This 2015 baby – yet un-named – picked up a yellow jacket drowned in the water dish. Just look at those long legs!!

Barb Evett, Peterborough

Baby crow - Barb Evett - July 2015

Baby crow – Barb Evett – July 2015

May 162015
 

Interesting story….. My sister Judy and I both feed our local crows and both of us have had “gifts” brought in to us by our crows and left in the crow dish. At first we thought it was just an oddity…..but now we realize it was a thank you for food given. We do not receive gifts on a regular basis. On each occasion of gifting, we had tried to pump up the feeding regimen with raw hamburg, chicken and eggs when one of our crow family was injured from a hawk attack or other incident. As they started to get stronger they would fly in with something in their beak and leave it for us.

I had mentioned my lady crow “Boot” in a previous e-mail. Although her claw is now pretty useless, it would appear she has nested again, and I am anxious to meet her fledglings when she brings them onto my deck later in June. This will be her second successful nesting since her injury and loss of her babies in 2013.

I have included a wonderful story from the BBC about a little girl in Seattle who also receives gifts from crows.  Click here.

Barb Evett, Fairbairn Street

Boots - Barb Evett

Boots – Barb Evett