A murder of crows fill the late afternoon sky over Charleston. That's typical behavior for crows: every fall, after a solitary summer of mating, they come together in large flocks called "murders" for the winter months.
In Charleston, crows have been gathering over the Fort Hill neighborhood since at least 1996 -- that's when they were first documented by local birdwatchers. The first flock had about 1,000 birds and their numbers grew gradually until 2008, when the size of the flock peaked at about 12,000.That's not an unusually large size for a murder -- flocks in the Midwest can be composed of hundreds of thousands of birds -- but it is rare for this many crows to gather in a city space. They usually congregate in rural areas.