The Winter Roost

Here in Seattle, the roost of crows is estimated to be in the tens of thousands. Though near some cities, the estimate can be of over a million birds. I never grow tired of it, always in awe. I drove out to the arboretum three times this winter, hoping to see the crows. But darkness came and the crows did not. Finally, a friend told me that the roost had moved. The crows now meet over at the SR 522 / 405 interchange, at UW Bothell.

What’s more ominous: the sound of the traffic, or the sound of crows?

In my next couple of posts, I’m going to investigate as best as I can why the crows meet like this. But no matter what I find what, one can’t help but be moved by the mystery. How can we ever possibly know why—or all of the why?

6 thoughts on “The Winter Roost

  1. I have to go see this!! How long do you think it will last? Why do they do this only in the winter, or is there a summer roost too?

    I’m filled with questions…

  2. I’ve seen them gather as a roost in the summer, back at the aboretum by the UW, but not in nearly the same numbers. I don’t believe nesting crows roost during that season, but I will conduct my research – soon.

    1. There’s actually a website for Crow Roost locations: http://www.crows.net/roostlst.html

      Here’s what it says about Roosts in your neighborhood:

      Renton, WA
      Last Updated by crows.net on Jan 29, 2011
      1/14/11. roost at Southwest Grady Way & Oaksdale Avenue South, Renton, WA, USA. There is a wetlands preservation area and trail there with trees lining the road; the trees are teeming with crows every night!
      ——-
      1/29/11. they have moved a whole mile down the road to the *next* wetland nature preserve are at 1030 Oaksdale.

  3. I work at Cascadia Community College (right at the 522/I-405 interchange) and have been watching this roosting behavior for years. They fly in each night just before sunset, and not only perch in the trees, but on the buildings and parking structures on campus. They definitely come daily from September through April, but as the days grow longer, I (usually) leave work long before sunset and so do not know if they gather here year round. The sky can be full of whirling, swirling birds, and the cacophony of crows can be heard from inside buildings. It is wonderful.

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