Date: 12/31/18 3:27 pm
From: David Gulick <dvdgu741...>
Subject: [Maine-birds] Edward Howe Forbush on Crow roosts
I am attaching a quote from Edward Howe Forbush’s three volume opus the “Birds of Massachusetts and Other New England States” published by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1927. In Volume two pages 399-400 I quote the following:
>>> “In southern New England, however, many Crows remain through mild winters wherever food is plentiful. A piggery with its daily supply of garbage attracts a multitude. A corn-field from which not all the grain has been removed, the salt-marshes along the sea-coast, a crop of beechnuts or any large space of ground bare of snow will attract many winter Crows. At night these Crows assemble, sometimes from a distance of forty miles around, to a common roosting place. In New England, white pine groves are favorites for Crow roosts. Farther south deciduous trees may be chosen. In one of the New England roosts as many as 50,000 to 100,000 (estimated) Crows have gathered at night. In the Middle States the numbers of birds assembled in a roost is(sic) much larger, and the estimates reach hundreds of thousands. I have witnessed the assemblage of Crows in two large Crow roosts in Massachusetts, but those interested should read the account given by my friend, Samuel S. Roades(sic), contributed to the American Naturalist in 1886, to get an adequate idea of the character of the great roosts of the Middle States and the numbers of their occupants. In recent years many Crow roosts have been broken up by gunners and the birds composing them have scattered to roost in smaller colonies from which persecution continually drives them; nevertheless some of the larger roosts still remain to be reckoned as among the most wonderful assemblies of birds to be seen now on the continent of North America.”
> I googled Forbush's referenced friend Samuel S. Rhoades and found the remarkable 11-page account of roosting crows actually written by a Samuel W. Rhoads:
>>> Rhoads, Samuel W. “Crow Roosts and Roosting Crows.” The American Naturalist, vol. 20, no. 8, 1886, pp. 691–701. JSTOR, JSTOR,
> Well worth reading!
David Gulick

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