Oct 05 2005
What's up with all the crows?

"When you see big flocks of birds, think food supply," avian advocate Tom Godin said in response to a question as to why there have been more than the average number of crows gathering together on area roads.

This summer and fall, it's been a rarity to travel any secondary artery without scaring up a flock every couple of kilometres.

They appear excited about something on the asphalt, despite the absence of any road kill that is the usual attractant.

At a glance, there doesn't seem to be anything to entice them and Godin suggests it still probably has something to do with satisfying their bellies.

"It's been a really good grasshopper year and they've been finding them on the roads. This time of year, mothers are driving babies out of the nest, too. She's tolerated them till now, and knows if they don't go, all will die. The squirrels and other rodents are moving out, looking for their own territory, and they might have to travel some distance," Godin said.

He noted that it requires an amazing three acres of evergreens to sustain one squirrel.

He said a population boom among crows, perhaps a ripple effect of abundant summer rain and good growth resulted in abundant food for babies and greater survival.

Godin noted it was a temporarily good situation that will eventually catch up to them.

"Huge population stresses available food, and sooner or later ├ó ┬Ęsomething has to go. Crows can't buy take-out," he said.

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