Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sandhill Cranes

The Lincoln Journal-Star had a front page article about Sandhill cranes this morning.

NEAR GIBBON - Doing the crane thing required a serious commitment from Jim and Edna Huggett.

The Marshall, Wis., retirees drove nearly 600 miles, woke a couple of hours before sunrise and endured a chilling walk to arrive at a blind along the Platte River in central Nebraska.

At first, they and 26 other crane tourists could just barely make out gray avian shapes in the twilight. But as darkness retreated, a gauzy light revealed clusters of sandhill cranes up, down and across the wide, shallow channel of the Platte.

They numbered in the thousands.

A chorus of calls grew in volume with the gathering dawn. Then, without warning, a clutch of cranes upstream from the blind lifted off, peeling downstream birds with them like gift wrap. The chorus turned into a roar not dissimilar to the sound that follows a touchdown at perpetually sold-out Memorial Stadium.

Much more, plus some photos at the link above.

For more information about Sandhill crane viewing, see my post from earlier in the year.

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