This winter is not the first to see thousands of crows invading tree tops all over the Greater Utica area.

You can see them begin to gather just before nightfall and they definitely make their presence known.

Between the sounds of their call and the "bombs" they tend to drop it's not hard to know when they're around.

What may surprise you is why they gather in such large groups. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife,

In late summer through winter, crows are seen in large, raucous flocks that roam widely. In agricultural areas hundreds of crows may gather to forage in fields, while in cities, landfills and garbage dumpsters are crow favorites.

Another reason given for the constant barrage of noise-making is defense. When eggs are laid, parent crows tend to be a bit more quiet. Once those little crow babies hatch, the "CAW" begins.

One thing is for sure; anyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' may feel a bit uneasy when walking under a tree filled with crows.