The Crow Patrol

Craig Gibson

The Crow Patrol is a podcast exploring the amazing phenomenon of winter crow roosts, and the lives of these incredibly smart, social, and family centered birds.

Welcome to The Crow Patrol! (Trailer)
Trailer 1 min 21 sec

All Episodes

Brian Harrington is an emeritus biologist with Manomet, Inc., where he began working in 1971. During his tenure, Brian focused on conservation issues associated with the long, nonstop migrations of many kinds of shorebirds, in particular the red Knot, with research throughout North and South America.

Dec 3

26 min 21 sec

In this episode, we heard about Prof. Marzluff’s research and academic work during the pandemic. He also shared news on the launch of his new citizen scientist app for young people. We discussed the many facets of a winter crow roost: how large they can be, staging and flying to the overnight roost, Crow family social dynamics, roosts as information centers, the deafening vocalizations around an overnight roost, and then approached to counting crows in a roost!-----John Marzluff, Ph.D., is the James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. His research has been the focus of articles in the New York Times, National Geographic, Audubon, Boys Life, The Seattle Times,and National Wildlife. PBS’s NATURE featured his raven research in its production, “Ravens,” and his crow research in the film documentary, “A Murder of Crows”. His graduate and initial post-doctoral research focused on the social behavior and ecology of jays and ravens. He was especially interested in communication, social organization, and foraging behavior. His current research brings this behavioral approach to pressing conservation issues including raptor management, management of pest species, and assessment of nest predation.His book, In the Company of Crows and Ravens (with Tony Angell, 2005 Yale U. Press) blends biology, conservation, and anthropology to suggest that human and crow cultures have co-evolved. This book won the 2006 Washington State Book Award for general nonfiction. With his wife, Colleen, he has published Dog Days, Raven Nights (2011 Yale University Press), which combines reflection with biology and the recreational pursuit of dog sledding to show how a life in science blooms. Gifts of the Crow (2012 Free Press) applies a neurobiological perspective to understand the amazing feats of corvids. He is a member of the board of editors forActa Ornithologica, Landscape Ecology and Ecological Applications. Currently leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Team for the critically endangered Mariana Crow, he is also a Fellow of the American Ornithologist’s Union. 

Apr 28

33 min 13 sec

After learning about Prof. Clark’s background and academic work, we had a chance to dive into details around winter Crow roost and strategies for accurate counting of the Crows. Prof Clark shared her methodologies for counting in blocks, preferred times for making counts, the relevance around orders of magnitude, using photography, having counting team members in place, vantage points, and recording tools for documenting purposes. Anne Clark:  a behavioral ecologist broadly interested in the evolution and ecology of animal social behavior. In addition to other research, she has spent time over the last 20 years, researching the social ecology of American crows in suburban Ithaca, NY. Ongoing studies with her wonderful grad and undergrad students include genetics, communication, learning and personality. The advent of West Nile Virus in our long-term study population of crows has added a focus on social and demographic effects of injury and disease for me, my collaborator, Dr. KJ McGowan (Cornell Lab of Ornithology), and former students Dr. D. Robinson (Mount St. Mary's College) and Dr. A. Townsend (Hamilton College).  Her current students have extended crow research to new species:  Fish Crows, Mariana Crows and Large-billed Jungle Crows.  At Binghamton University, I teach classes in “Animal Behavior”, “Primate Behavioral Ecology” and “Behavior and Disease” plus diverse graduate seminars. 

Mar 5

33 min 37 sec

Kevin McGowan, Ph.D., is an extension associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Co-editor of the second New York State Breeding Bird Atlas, past President and former webmaster for the New York State Ornithological Association, and a FORMER member of the New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC). McGowan is an international authority on the crow family, and has done extensive research in social development, family structure, and West Nile virus transmission within avian populations, especially the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos). His main research concerns reproductive and social behavior of American Crows, as well as Fish Crows (Corvus ossifragus) in the Ithaca area.   Dr. McGowan received a B.S. in Zoology from the Ohio State University in 1977, and an M.S. in Zoology from Ohio State in 1980 for a thesis on small mammals and their use of arthropods on reclaimed strip-mines. He then went to the University of South Florida where he received a Ph.D. in Biology in 1987 for work on the social development of young Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens). McGowan was one of the creators of the All About Birds website and currently creates online courses about birds at Bird Academy. 

Feb 5

33 min 6 sec

Visit Winter Crow Roost for more information.

Dec 2020

40 min 7 sec

Visit Winter Crow Roost for more information.

Nov 2020

1 min 21 sec