Sunday, February 17, 2008

Birds in Flight

Big entertainment for my dogs this week has been racing toward the enormous flocks of birds that seem to have adopted my front field in the early evening. Of course the birds don't seem that concerned and simply take off into the sky in huge numbers, moving in perfect synchronization. Beautiful to watch as they swoop and drop with the changing wind currents and them head on toward somewhere else. Haven't been able to get close enough to identify the specific type of bird yet, but I plan to do a little research and see what I can find.
Okay --- google saves the day. Looks like these birds are probably crows, who apparently gather this time of year to spend the night in very large communal roosts containing hundreds or even thousands of birds. An hour or so before dusk, the crows head back toward these roosts, stopping along the way in "staging areas" like my field. One web site suggested that staging areas are usually cemetaries or other open areas surrounded by lots of trees, which of course makes my field nearly perfect. Who knew? Well I guess the crows did. :-)