The Bothell Crows

Thousands of crows roost on the University of Washington Bothell campus every night.
Thousands of crows roost on the University of Washington Bothell campus every night.
I have always loved crows. And recently I learned about the tens of thousands of crows that roost at the Bothell campus of the University of Washington. Of course, I had to go check it out. I don't think any number of pictures or videos I share will help share the experience with you. It is just something you should experience for yourself. They covered trees. They covered rooftops, they filled up light posts, the goal posts on the field. They flew around by the hundreds. There were literally crows everywhere. After dark, they descended upon the field itself with the lights shining down on them. It was like the most raucous, fun bird party ever. And they do this every night! The sounds they made are indescribable. It was really amazing to experience. Some might think it is straight out of a horror movie, but for me, these crows are fascinating. I was in awe for hours watching them gather. They met up like old friends and family at the end of their day. They flew in from every direction--from far away. While I was on my way to the campus I felt like one of the crows going towards the great meeting place. It was just really something I cannot explain well enough. I can't do it justice. I think I've found the place I will visit as often as possible. That said, here are some links for more information.
  • Crows on Campus (University of Washington page on the crows)
  • Bothell Crows Facebook page (They have their facebook page...they are that big of a deal!)
  • A great video of them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X98N18-Kp88)
  • The Experience of 10,000 Crows (The Metropolitan Field Guide)
  • A video about the crows made by The Metropolitan Field Guide (https://youtu.be/T6MFRpwiZ7A)

Lecture on Crows by John Marzluff

You might have heard of this fellow, John Marzluff. He is a professor at the University of Washington who studies crows. He is the one who led the research with the ability of facial recognition by crows. If you haven't read it, you can read it here. Yes, crows can recognize a person's face and teach other crows to learn it as well. They have an elaborate way of communicating, one we cannot comprehend YET! =)  John Marzluff has written a few crow related books (one will be released in June of this year!). Here is a lecture on crows I found...check it out...

A Little Larceny Comes Naturally To Northwestern Crows

ScienceDaily (2001-12-12) -- Crows and ravens are depicted as being clever and tricky animals in countless American Indian stories and legends. Those characterizations apparently are right on the mark, according to a pair of University of Washington researchers who have found a species of crow that is constantly looking for opportunities to steal food from other members of its flock. Read more here. I started to suspect this myself having watched them eat so often the past few months. I watch them eat daily. I have observed their sneaky behavior. We have many Northwestern crows up here being the Northwest and all. =) When we first put the meat out, they did behave as if they were sneaking food from a BBQ. It made me wonder how many times birds sneaked off with a little bit of the meat patties or meat clumps people leave on plates on their porch while they run inside really quick. It seemed obvious to me they thought they were sneaking off with some food. So, you better watch your BBQ a little more carefully... or leave out peanuts for the crows and they will be less tempted to steal a bit of the BBQ action! Thankfully, I am mostly vegetarian so I don't have much to fret.