Yesterday evening Stephen and I joined some other birders to watch Crows coming in to their Poughkeepsie roost. What an awesome sight, to see thousands upon thousands of Crows converging from all points of the compass! I had often seen the Crows roosting in immense numbers in the trees as I drove down route 9 through Poughkeepsie, but I’d never seen them gathering and staging in the evening. It was an amazing sight, and someone there said her grandmother had watched them coming in fifty years ago, so this area has been an established roost for decades, at least.
At one point I looked north across the Mid-Hudson Bridge and saw what looked like a river of Crows flowing from farther up and across the river, bending and flowing, I’m assuming with air currents. In the distance it just looked like a narrow strip of pepper, with the specks gradually becoming larger and clearer as they drew closer, until they were right over us. They congregated in several areas, cawing and flying about and landing on the ground and in trees, staging in small or large groups that would move from time to time, before they finally headed to their night roost. There were an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Crows altogether!
Then we heard a sudden, loud cawing and saw a peregrine Falcon flying over the trees where many Crows were roosting. The Crows rose with a tremendous fluttering and cawing, the Falcon fluttered his pointed wings very fast overhead, then suddenly stooped (dove) fast, knocking a Crow out of the air! He didn’t end up with that Crow, but I suspect he caught one soon after, when we again saw him stoop into the Crows and disappear behind some buildings. We didn’t see him again, so I’m guessing he was happily eating Crow.