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Rhoads Crows
updated: Feb 18, 2014, 8:13 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I am wondering if anyone knows the origin of the huge murder of crows that hangs out near Rhoads/the bikepath. There are hundreds of crows. Why are there so many? Why are they here?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 NATURE BOY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:20 AM

What/where is Rhoads?

 

 COMMENT 495678P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:21 AM

Without asking them, I wouldn't know for sure, but I'd guess there is a wealth of food nearby, so their living is easy. When I lived in Hope Ranch Annex, the local crows (or ravens, not sure which) seemed to have an easy life, with lots of fruiting trees and walnut trees nearby. They seemed to really like the walnuts, which they'd crack by dropping in the street.

 

 COMMENT 495679 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:22 AM

In Goleta near Walnut, backs up against the tail end of More Mesa.

 

 COMMENT 495681 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:27 AM

I don't know either....maybe Tippi Hedren moved into the neighborhood?

 

 COMMENT 495685P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:32 AM

In November/December they hang out on near Hollister across from the airport -10's of thousands of them. They must follow the food and now there is something near Rhoads.

 

 COMMENT 495692 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:49 AM

Crows are extremely intelligent and self aware. Maybe they ask themselves such existential questions (why are we here?) from time to time. As to the many... they are very social, quite like us, and quite rambunctious when they get together in large numbers... again, not unlike us.

Also keep in mind that the bike path borders Atascadero Creek which is a natural avenue connecting Hope Ranch with More Mesa and Goleta Beach (and via Maria Ignacio Creek all the way up to Tucker's Grove and beyond to hwy154). If you look at it from the air (Google maps will do nicely too) you'll see lots of growers there that border this corridor as well. Hope that helps.

 

 COMMENT 495695 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:56 AM

There were probably several hundred eggs involved. But a good fiction writer might come up a different, more sinister origin; someone like Steven King could pen "Black Rhoads," or "A Night of Rhoad Rage."

Ah, my mind wanders.

 

 COMMENT 495702P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 09:07 AM

Yes, a friend of mine sent out a mass email & tweet to all the crows in California, to come to Santa Barbara for the nice weather, good food and great trees. And, they came!

 

 COMMENT 495710 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 09:27 AM

I say "flock of crows". Murder is just too weird.

 

 COMMENT 495715 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 09:46 AM

Murder is correct.

 

 COMMENT 495716 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 09:48 AM

No, but I love them! They are creepy and fascinating at the same time. Love when they cross Hollister and settle into the huge pine trees on my side, cawing and calling and swooping. Love them.

 

 COMMENT 495718 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 09:55 AM

They are Crows. Crows "hang out" where and when they need to. We have them on our property where they hold regular "conferences" in a giant eucalptus tree. We welcome them with joy, no matter their purpose or origin. Both which naturally remain a mystery to us and to all, except themselves.

 

 COMMENT 495719 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 09:56 AM

People just love to write/say "murder".

 

 COMMENT 495722 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:04 AM

Crows: First you have breeding pairs. Each pair will stake out a small territory, build a nest in a tree, find food sources in their small area, and raise their young.The next season, when the migrating flocks fly over head in the early morning and return to their join up resting spot for the night at dusk, the young will join up with one of the small flocks that are flying by and the cycle repeats itself. If these crows are being observed at dawn or dusk these would be the unmated ones that are leaving or returning to their nightly resting spot. Or, if it is during the day there could be an owl or hawk in a tree where one crow has sounded the alarm and crows have come from ever where and are making the intruders life so miserable it will flee the area

 

 COMMENT 495723 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:05 AM

When two crows love each other very, very much...

 

 COMMENT 495727 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:14 AM

How is this affecting the nesting pairs of snowy plover?

 

 COMMENT 495732 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:21 AM

A couple crows are fun. A dozen crows are interesting. A hundred crows are a nuisance. They rob my fruit trees. They eat the chicken food. They eat the chicken eggs. I enjoy crows only when they are dead.

 

 COMMENT 495733P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:23 AM

I think it may be Crowtopia - if so, I hope they have a permit.

 

 COMMENT 495739P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:36 AM

Where do crows hang out? At the crow bar.

 

 COMMENT 495744 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:50 AM

Given that the area you mentioned is next to a street named Walnut, and the fact that crows/blackbirds/raven like to eat walnuts might be a clue.

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 11:21 AM

Crows are great, we love having them. However, 100 or so could be considered "noise pollution". The proper name for a group is "murder of crows"; "gaggle of geese" and "unkindness of ravens" are examples of names given to other flocks of our feathered friends.

 

 COMMENT 495762 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 11:25 AM

732: On the contrary! We often get hundreds of crows in the huge trees next door and I love to watch them and listen to their cawing. I guess some might consider it noise pollution. I actually really enjoy it. So obviously a true means of communication. I find these huge murders (yep, I got to say it) incredibly fascinating. But that's just me. To each his own.

 

 COMMENT 495769 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 11:44 AM

Love the crows!!!

 

 COMMENT 495777 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 12:05 PM

I love crows and regularly watch their busy social gatherings on our property. They are entertaining and super intelligent.. Murder is the correct usage, but I prefer to use other much nicer descriptive words, such as gathering or flock.

732 : They may very well feel the same way about you.

 

 COMMENT 495783 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 12:20 PM

They're plotting something sinister..... ;)

 

 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 01:07 PM

Crows are the smartest of birds. They know that Santa Barbara is a great place to be.

 

 COMMENT 495794 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 01:09 PM

A tumult of crows, a squall of crows. Anymore ideas other than the sinister “murder “ of crows.

We should start a crow club on here and share our crow stories.

 

 COMMENT 495797 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 01:17 PM

I don't know about the original origin but they seem to fly west in the evening (to nest I presume), and then I see them flying east and north in the early AM. I think they nest in the creek bed.

What I do know is they wake me up at sunrise, and they wake the baby while napping and that is annoying and frustrating. Furthermore feeding crows peanuts or letting them eat your ferril cat food offering only makes the NOISE worse.

I do not know how anybody could enjoy this sound? they were called Heckle and Jeckle for a reason.

 

 COMMENT 495807 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 01:38 PM

maybe we should ask the flock of seagulls ?

 

 COMMENT 495810P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 01:41 PM

Eggs

 

 COMMENT 495825 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 02:08 PM

Heckle and Jeckle were Magpies.

 

 COMMENT 495826 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 02:11 PM

I've wondered why crows and ravens aren't kept as pets. They probably wouldn't do well in cage ;-) , but surely they are smart enough to domesticate. Or perhaps TOO smart to let themselves be domesticated. Two pair, of a 12-15 group hang out around my place. They were making a mess of my deck, so I got a slingshot and fired dirt clods at them. Pretty soon, just making believe I had a slingshot got them to leave. Now, all I have to do as ask them and their gone.

I wonder if the ones who are pooping on my Honda are same ones I told to get to lost.

Their "speech" bugs me, but I appreciate them letting me know when a coyote or mountain lion is nearby.

We had a pair of ravens (crow gigantica) one year. Just them. They were a lot more quiet but their messes were bigger.

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 02:20 PM

We have a pecan tree they love those too!

 

 COMMENT 495836 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 02:25 PM

You just wanted to say murder...

 

 COMMENT 495854 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 02:57 PM

It used to be murther but that spelling dropped out of favor centuries ago. A murther of crows doesn't sound as bad, though.

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 03:30 PM

My Mom had a pet crow, even taught it a few words. When she was a few blocks away, coming home, he would land on the roof of her car; she always knew when he was there because other drivers would be staring. Once she was at a barbeque in a nearby park and he came and landed on her shoulder; freaked people out, it was just after the release of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". Mom fed him some meat, to everyone's amusement..

 

 COMMENT 495876P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 03:46 PM

If 3 crows is a murder is 2 crows attended murder???

 

 COMMENT 495877 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 03:52 PM

Flicka: Thank you for this delightful story. We had a family of crows living near us and we had a wonderful time watching the parents teaching the little ones to fly. As did your Mother, I would love to have a pet crow.

854: Thank you, murther does indeed sound better then murder. I shall use it.

 

 COMMENT 495928 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 06:03 PM

Are you sure they are not an "unkindness of ravens"? (They for sure aren't a "parliament of owls".)

 

 COMMENT 495952 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:05 PM

iam glad theres a hunting season for them now need to thin them out a bit

 

 COMMENT 495953 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:19 PM

Hundreds of crows here in the east side too. They all start swarming around noon then again in the evening. Fun to watch the patterns they make in the sky.

 

 COMMENT 495955 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 08:36 PM

952. Ridiculous. There is no such thing in progress. It's illegal.

 

 COMMENT 495966P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-18 10:32 PM

According to the California Fish and Game website, it is legal to hunt crows starting on the first Saturday in December and for the following 124 days - daily bag limit is 24 birds per day.

 

 COMMENT 495969P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 12:24 AM

718, 762, 769, 777, 794----I am with you.

As for those who would kill these birds: there is a special place in Hell reserved for just such as you.

 

 COMMENT 495970P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 02:29 AM

A special place in Hell for killing crows? While I tend to agree that we're probably all going to Hell, It ain't gonna be for killing birds - how about all the innocent children that have been killed in our name in Iraq and Afghanistan?

It never ceases to amaze me what sets some edhaters off. (And I like crows too, but Hell? Seriously?)

 

 COMMENT 495978 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 07:08 AM

Crows mob up to roost during fall and winter, usually in places that offer good protection from wind and wind-driven rain. There's undoubtedly a social aspect as well, young birds preparing to leave their parental territory having to work out their status in the larger community. These flocks are a lot smaller than they used to be, as crows are very susceptible to West Nile virus.

Pairs of crows are selecting nest sites already and begining to fool around with sticks -- the big roosts will disperse within the month as nesting gets underway.

 

 BONNER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 08:00 AM

Every year when the walnuts are ready, and whatever is in the palms, they swarm a couple blocks in our neighborhood, with hundreds on the phone lines and so many in the trees they look like decorations. On one of the unwatered grassy lawns, you cannot see anything but black. They swoop down when the cars smash the nuts and for a couple of weeks it's non-stop cawing and converging. seems to be seasonal or it could be very annoying but we look forward to them coming each season.

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 08:12 AM

Got to thinking about the names for 'groups' of animals and I found this…. Interesting, would love to know the origins of all these words for critters….

http://home.comcast.net/~ray.ammerman/groups.html

 

 ANDY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 08:46 AM

I had a pet crow as a young kid. I love crows. They are smarter than a fifth grader. My neighbors hate them.
Before I get haters started....my pet was found in a field with an injured wing. I helped him (her) heal and it never left me.

 

 RESIDENT agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 08:57 AM

For those that are interested in seeing how intelligent crows are, here is a video of a crow solving an 8 step puzzle. It certainly shows him looking over the set up and determining how to proceed and then he solved it. Copy and paste this address: http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2014/02/10/smart-crow-solves-8-stage-puzzle-video/

 

 COMMENT 496054 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 10:23 AM

My oldest son found a baby bird that had fallen out of a nest. He was 7 years old at the time. He brought it home, nursed and fed it and cared for it in his room for about a month. It finally began to fly on it's own and a few times it flew all about the inside of the house. We concluded that it was well enough to release back into the wild. We took it down to a nearby field and my son said his goodbyes and tossed it up into the air. It began happily chirping an took of flying quite well until a crow dove out of the sky and speared it with it's beak and took off with the small baby bird crying out. My son was reduced to tears. So much for the wonderful crows. At that instant I wished I had my 12 gauge shotgun and I would have enforced my own law of nature.

 

 COMMENT 496057 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 10:36 AM

Had a pet Raven as a kid, it had one leg and talked, he was pretty cool !

 

 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 12:24 PM

Here on the mountain side, we have flocks/murders with what appear to be hundreds near Foothill School.

 

 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 12:26 PM

I don't think any birds should be kept as pets.

 

 COMMENT 496101 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 01:10 PM

A few years back the Santa Barbara International Film Festival screened a movie called "A Murder of Crows". It was a fascinating film and sold out every show. These birds are very intelligent. I love crows but my blue jays do not.

 

 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 07:22 PM

One morning, while walking from my house to the tennis courts in my complex, I heard the most raucus noise and looked over to the center median strip of our road to see a coyote running hell-bent-for leather being chased by a huge pack of crows who were obviously bent on revenge for something he did. They were ready to tear him apart and he was terrified!

 

 GRITZ agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 08:43 PM

Great thread!!! love the info, and the crows...I see them every night!

 

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