Riding The Winter Thermals

Crows are joyous birds.* Here they are a dusk, having joyously ridden the thermal “Breath of Winter,” and are trying to settle down for the night, all the while calling and squawking and speaking their mind from tree to tree, in a last family discussion before sleep.


*There have been flocks of resident crows in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland for…..  I don’t know how many decades. Every morning the flocks wheel around our 22 story building and spend the day in the general area of the lake. Come dusk, they reverse the pattern, flying off to their roost for the night. Because of their constant presence, I have started to learn a few things about crows. This huge group of flying crows is called river of crows. They are highly intelligent, and live in large close knit family groups. While they do not nest in colonies (each mating pair builds an individual nest), the whole close knit family works together to forage, defend their territory, and care for their young.

They do not sleep in their nests other than to raise their young, however – they roost in trees. And according to Audubon’s Where Crows Go At Night  they have “a giant avian slumber party. Gathering in a park or woodland, they land in a tree, then scuffle and shuffle and squawk, filtering down through the branches.”

And “scuffle and shuffle and squawk,” I can tell you, is exactly what they do. Their carryings-on can be deafening.

Posted for K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Winter’s Breath.

9 thoughts on “Riding The Winter Thermals”

  1. Nicely captured Hannah. We don’t see (or hear) roosting birds at home, but I really notice them when I’m visiting Wellington, and round the apartment we use in Melbourne. It’s really something to experience.

      1. There are no crows native to NZ, so the closest we have is a small population of rooks. There are native Australian crows, and I guess that’s what we see in Melbourne.

  2. Your photo is haunting and beautiful, Hannah! And thank you for sharing your new-found knowledge of crows – I’d never have guessed that it’s a ‘river’ of crows! (Every day a little nugget of knowledge. 😉) And I share your fascination for these birds – I enjoy watching them whenever I get the chance, they’re so clever!

      1. I’ve once watched a documentary that made little contest like tasks for kiwis and crows in order to find out which bird is smarter – turned out they were both equally smart. 😄

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