Friday, September 16, 2011

Noisy Birds

The Sandhill Cranes are in the grain are the Canada Geese.  Everyone must be bulking up for the trek south.

Sandhill Cranes

We stopped to watch these one evening.  They have fluff on their behinds that reminds me of a fancy ladies bustle.

Sandhill Cranes closer Sept 11

They are reasonably elegant with their long legs and long necks..and then they shriek..nothing ladylike about that karr.o..o.o..a..a..a. ( Their call may be reminiscent of something prehistoric.)

A whole “construction", "dance", "sedge", "siege", or "swoop" of cranes calling is enough to make you say “What in the world is that noise?”  Chance looked at them as if to say “What kind of weird bird is that?”

Aldo Leopold conservationist and writer called Sandhill Cranes  “ wilderness incarnate.”

A new day has begun on the crane marsh. A sense of time lies thick and heavy in such a place. ... The cranes stand, as it were, upon the sodden pages of their own history.
Aldo Leopold,“Marshland Elegy,” A Sand County Almanac

These birds were almost extinct in the early 1900’s.   They were very slow to recover. They are large birds with a wing span of up to seven feet and they can weigh 5 to  8 pounds.


I had not seen a Sandhill Crane until a few years ago.  Now it is common to see them in the fields in the spring and in the fall.  I heard today that several swoops spent the summer about 10 miles south of us. 

They are making progress:)

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  1. Wow - what fabulous birds. And lovely to hear that they were brought back from the verge of extinction!

  2. They are such a graceful looking bird. I love to see them in the fields around my house.

  3. Amazing! We do not have these but do have the Blue Herron.

  4. I have seen these birds, too. What an amazing story of their recovery from almost becoming extinct. That's a good thought for me to remember today.

  5. It's amazing how many cranes, ducks and geese are around any more, compared to when I was a lad. I had 44 Canadian geese on my small dam this spring. 4 sets of parents and little ones of all sizes. We had lots of Gray Heron's this summer also and there are loads of frogs. Must be all the ones down south are staying north, waiting for the drought to end.

  6. Great photos. They are amazing birds, we have Granes here as well they like to be on the banks of the river just down the road from us and we also have grey Harings as well ! I am yet to get their photo on the river banks but they are very skitish birds and any sign of humans approaching they fly off ! Have a wonderful day !

  7. This spring we saw a few very large birds flying overhead. We thought they might be sandhill cranes - but that's as close as I've come to them until seeing your beautiful pictures.
    They look magnificent! I think large birds are awesome - such grace...well, sometimes, maybe not!

  8. They never land here and I've only seen them fly over on their way south, geese on the other hand, are everywhere getting their affairs in order for their journey.

  9. We sometimes see them fly over. Not sure if they land around here (don't think I've seen any). We get Trumpeter Swans passing over too, and they do land in the grain fields.
    Always nice to see something other than the ubiquitous Canada Geese:)

  10. Pretty pictures and I can just imagine the look that Chance gave them!

  11. I love how they gurgle when they fly overhead.

    The sandhill cranes are now being hunted on a limited basis here in Wyoming.

    Your photos are wonderful.

  12. How wonderful to see so many of them. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us, Far Side. :)

  13. During the 40's and 50's in Sask we would hear them floating by in the spring. They were often heard at night. Now in spring and fall the fields are black with them . They do no till farming there so the stubble left is a rich source of food. Good post on Sand hills.

  14. Tom and I made a special trip one late October weekend to see the Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski in Indiana. We see them sometimes in Florida in late February and early March. One day as we were waiting to pick Stephen up from grade school a small group flew over the school. That was exciting. Even though their numbers are increasing, we rarely see them in Ohio as we did that day.

  15. Birds are so delicate in appearance and elegant in flight. They are beautiful to watch.


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