Friday, February 12, 2010

Norwalk Crow Roost

While returning from Danbury late afternoon this past Saturday, I was awed by the number of crows alongside the Route 7 Connector in Norwalk, even at 55 mph I could see at least a thousand birds.
I decided to check out this scene late afternoon the following day before the Superbowl kicked off. I did a good bit off searching into the dark, yes I found the roost, it is awesome, I decided to try again late this afternoon, here are the details.

At 4:45 I drove up to the top of Aiken St. and pulled into the parking lot at West Rocks Middle School, since this was a pre-roost staging area for the crows on Saturday. There weren't there, but after a few minutes I could hear a few caws behind me, they were coming from a small patch of woods across the street, this parcel is best viewed from All Saints School on West Rocks road, so I drove into this schools rear parking lot. This area is the highest place in Norwalk, and several mile from the shore this place has great views of Long Island Sound and a few of it's islands.

I could see fifty or so crows in a tall maple, but I could also now see small flocks of crows flying in from all directions. Many of these approaching flocks were quickly growing into the hundreds.

By 5:oo there were maybe one thousand crows in the immediate area, it was difficult to get an accurate count since many were hidden on the flat roof of the school building.

Soon a few hundred flew down to the old football field. (where I played in many games as a member of The Central Catholic Cavaliers, Class of '71) I watch these birds and it became quite interesting to see what they were doing in the middle of a playing field covered with eight inches of snow.

Most were doing simply nothing, a few dozen were taking a snow bath, even more were eating snow, a great way to hydrate as like M&M's it melts in your mouth, and a few others were squabbling, it was these birds I focused on. There were several battles going on during the next ten or so minutes, it was always a dominate bird going after a weaker one. They would face off, jump into the air a few feet, flash their feet and talons at each other, some times connecting for a moment. After a few duels like this the loser would just walk a few feet away, and all would be quiet until the stronger bird wanted to do it again, they would do battle, and walk away again.

I noted the dominate birds would walk up to the victim, possibly just wanting the six square inches that it was sitting on, and wanting that small piece of land now, regardless of how temporary it was. I did manage a few poor pictures of these squabbles.

It is now 5:20 and very slowly, a half dozen at a time these birds are leaving the area moving off to the southwest, a minute later they are leaving in larger numbers, but many have stopped in some tall trees and and all these birds were facing west, this was the exact moment the sun dipped below the horizon, leaving a beautiful sunset, I'm now thinking, are these birds actually watching the sunset? It sure appeared so, the breeze was blowing from the same direction, so I guess I'll never know, it was a warming thought anyway.

By 5:28 most the birds all flew off to the south west, I know just where they are going.

Back to the car, I'm off, driving south on the old Rt. 7, I watch a study line of a thousand crows flying to their nocturnal roost. I laugh as they remind me of the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.

I drive past Ash Creek Saloon and into the parking lot of The Medical Center at 40 Cross St, here thousands of crows are gathering high in the trees in a very small patch of woods between this lot, Wilton Ave. and Horton St.

The Norwalk River flows between me and these woods. My guess is there are three, four thousand birds, not the biggest roost by far, but still very impressive. I stopped near the river and listened for a moment, quietly below the voices of the screaming crows I could hear it, the whispers of the river water making its way to Long Island Sound.

I can see why the crows have made these trees their winter roost site for the last few years, the calming sounds of the moving water below, and some very nice sunsets.
If your in the area, it's worth checking out this roost site.

No comments:

Post a Comment