Friday, February 1, 2013

Crows and cyclists

The Still Creek crows are getting some attention in a Province news article (below).

As the crow flies, the cyclists ride


A nature and arts loving group of cyclists plan to celebrate the daily migration of thousands of crows into Burnaby.
On Saturday afternoon, a bike ride is planned to follow the migrating crows as they make their daily way to an area in the Willingdon Avenue and Still Creek Drive area of Burnaby.
The Crow Roost Twilight Bike Ride is organized by the Still Moon Arts Society.
Cyclists are being asked to meet at the Lakewood Drive Central Valley Greenway location at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Carmen Rosen, the artistic director of Still Moon Arts, said they will ride over to the Renfrew SkyTrain station to pick up other cyclists at 4:15 p.m. and then ride down to the area at Willingdon and Still Creek where the birds stay overnight.
In the past, the society has sponsored night walks through Renfrew Ravine to raise awareness of the stream rehabilitation and return of the chum salmon that is taking place in Still Creek.
Rosen said early February is prime time to see the huge flocks of crows. The numbers decrease by the end of the month once the birds nest.
“It is an amazing phenomenon,” said Rosen of the crows flying down to the area around Willingdon and Still Creek each day.
“The ride takes place just prior to their nesting season so there will be big numbers.
“This is an event for cyclist and bird enthusiasts,” she added. “This is also to raise awareness of the environment. We want to get people thinking of the environment in a creative way and how to take care of it.”
Estimates have the number of crows that fly into the Still Creek area on any given day as more than 20,000.
The activity is part of Reflecting Still Creek, a program from the Still Moon Arts Society that aims to connect people with the creek.
Wayne Goodey, a UBC zoology department lecturer whose background is bird behaviour said the crows congregate in huge numbers for a variety of reasons. Some may be looking for a mate while others are there to find food.
“They could be communicating with each other about feeding areas,” he said. ”Crows live in family groups.
“They do follow each other. It may be just a case of follow the leader.”
For more information on the event Google crow roost bike ride.

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