gandle(4 NE)April 10, 2011

Among the hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes in the area now there are at least 55 whooping cranes. The most the game commision has ever seen at one time but the real unusual ones are a hooded crane, a native of China and Siberia plus two common cranes, natives of Eurasia. You have to wonder at the mystery, how did these wind up in Nebraska on the Platte waiting to migrate when the weather warms a bit. Hooded crane are a bit smaller but still a large bird. Body is black except for it's head.

Seems like there is a birdwatcherfor every bird. Restaurants are crowdesd and the motels all look like the have [plenty of cars around and I'll bet some of the cameras we see probably are worth a months income

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Bird watchers are an enthusiastic group. Fun seeing some interesting diversity among the cranes. Wonder if some were brought by humans as pets or 4H projects and just answered the call of the wild.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 11:58AM
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Do you suppose the massive earthquake last month might have caused some birds to stray off their course during migration?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 3:17PM
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Belonging to the birdwatchers, even if it is just locally, its interesting what sometimes shows up. The Siberian crane most likely went astray last fall, since some of the sandhill cranes cross over from Alaska to Siberia and back.
I would love to see that huge congregation of cranes in person, not just on the computer or TV.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 7:20PM
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Wow Anneliese, that's really astray! Cool Gandle. I want to hear them in person some day. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 1:02PM
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When I visited friends in AZ some winters back, I was amazed at the tens of thousands of Sandhills which always gathered in a huge dry lakebed nearby.
I've never seen so many birds; EVER!

Smaller groups would gather in the high desert
(near Wilcox) right outside the home of my friends.
Their music followed them downwards as they set up for their landings, covering acres at a time.

The early mornings would bring an
increasing volume of excitement
as they readied for their take-offs
and the days' feeding areas.

As their calls became dimmer,
I could see their flight patterns become the
printed-out notes of their flying songs!
Double whammy.

Must've been the high desert air,
or the trip to the little Benedictine Monastary
we visited some miles down the road......

I'll never forget those comical, yet beautiful birds
as long as I live.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Gandle, thank you for this beautiful thread---I forgot to thank you in my first post---sorry!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 7:14PM
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Talking about birds and travelers. I realize that this thread is about cranes, but we here in Silicon Valley ,CA are innudated with geese.
Gandle said:" You have to wonder at the mystery, how did these wind up in Nebraska on the Platte".

I'm wondering how all the geese ended up on a tinsy-winsy man made lake with brackish water here in CA.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:44PM
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Geese. I'm not a bird watcher but when we went to a local "man made" park and saw the all geese, I wondered where they came from and why they decided to stop at this place. Anyone have a guess?

Here is a link that might be useful: Geese

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 10:28PM
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Canada Geese.

Forty years ago, they were sensational to watch and listen to, as we assumed they wre just passing through.
We are part of the Mid-Atlantic Flyway, with a very convenient pass through the mtns. nearby.

Be prepared.
If Canada Geese like your man-made pond, they'll probably stay; just as they did here in VA. They are the most common water bird in these parts, now.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 9:35AM
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The Canadian Geese are a real problem in our area. They are here in the thousands! They do their best to spoil crops and lawns. Not too many years ago they were pretty much a novelty, than folks started feeding them amd now they are here by the thousands! If they land on your dock in the lake or on your lawn, it becomes so covered with excretment that you literally cannot stand up! They do remain a beautiful bird to be admired, now if we could just train them to poop in one spot!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 4:52PM
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Oh the poop. Big round thingies about an inch and a half long and slippery. Lol,posieh, if we could just train the geese to poop in one place, collect it and sell it as green fertilizer we could make enough to wipe out the national debt. Just don't try to train the geese in spring time, when they are mating. They are very aggressive in protecting their territory. I speak from experience.

Our particular park and lake was built for people, now we have to figure out how to live together.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 6:51PM
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