Wednesday, July 28, 2021




What is " Kaaw Yenivol " or evening time assembly of crows? 

As night falls, about two hours before their scheduled sleeping  time, crows start assembling close to their roosting place. 
This period is a noisy time, with plenty of crows cawing as they jostle each other. Playing, fighting, and foraging for food are all activities that occur during this period.

Bird watchers the world over have explained that crows are communal sleepers. They sleep in large groups . Usually  two to three  thousand crows will sleep on a huge tree. Before going for sleep, they assemble, communicate and select the place . Accordingly ,  they gather in massive groups to roost together at night .

At sunset time, crows fly in from long distances to a central location. At this location ,  they share warmth, safety from predators, and even exchange information relevant for survival.

I have read that being intelligent, group roosting helps the crows to exchange sources of bulk  food locations especially during winters after the earth gets covered with snow. Crows  roost in the same location for many years unless something changes in the environment. At morning time or dawn, I have seen them moving out in groups making rapid flights .The need for  food brings speed to their flight .

In daylight, crows can elude or gang up on most predators generally owls, hawks , eagles and many others  You might have heard the  noisy cawing when a single crow is in trouble or a predator is suspected . At night, they are almost defenceless, so they gather in large flocks to roost in a spot where they have good visibility and reasonable shelter. Crows can't see in darkness.

Inquisitive, clever, and charmingly curious, crows are one of the rare bird species to not only recognize humans but form relationships with them .I have personally observed some traits of crows as I feed them early morning . Groups of crows  assemble at the place where I keep food for them at about 7AM every day. If I am late ,they make noise and alert us. The food space is on second floor and in the event of my being late ,they come down to my bedroom window and start pecking the glass pane possibly seeking reasons for the delay. As I go up with their food, they come close to my shoulders . Once I place the food on the spot, they start cawing inviting other crows . Fifteen years back, we had a huge vacant  field  close to our house that had some  tall mango ,guvava and other  trees . These trees were  roosting locations . Every evening we would see thousands of crows making noise  before settling for the roost. After the trees were cut and the vacant land turned as an extension of our colony ,we  missed the everyday  evening time spectacle.I would see this evening assembly of crows in Central Park, Manhattan,New York. The park is full of tall and shady trees providing abundance of roosting location.I saw the dusk time crow assembly in Washington Square Park and also in the parks built along the Hudson river in upper Manhattan. In Kashmir, it was a common scene  during  evenings  especially  near tall and  shady Chinar trees. I have observed this assembly in the garden of  Government Arts Emporium , Srinagar   that had many tall and shady trees . It used to be more pronounced during autumn and winter seasons.Crows have also been   roosting in  urban areas . I have seen them sleeping  on rooftops in  congested localities. Quite often they roost on tall trees close to flood lit roads . Light  helps them to see any predator.

Many elders have given a philosophical explanation  to the cawing and evening assembly of crows. Calling it' Kaawa Yenivol ' or Baraat of the crows, my maternal grandfather  would connect this assembly and noise of crows at dusk  with the  transitory nature of life   on this earth. He would say that this human existence  is a short time spectacle like the " Kaawa Yenivol '"or "Baraat of the crows"  at evening time.

( Avtar Mota)


Kaawa Yenivol is a Kashmiri word .

Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.