Sandhill Crane—photos and links

Click here to hear the amazing, unforgettable sounds of Sandhill Cranes.  (Scroll down a bit to the “typical voice” section.)  If you want as close to the real experience of hearing a massive flock of Sandhills, taking off at dawn, plug earphones into your computer and turn the volume up.  Full blast.  Or run the sound bite through a surround-sound system as high as you can crank it.  There—you’re getting close!

In mid-December, 2010, our team was canvassing our area for the Salida Christmas Bird Count.  Traveling a back road that overlooked an agricultural  20101218_SACR1
field, we spotted a large bird amidst the grazing cattle.   Without really thinking hard, one of us commented, 20101218_SACR2
“Looks like another Great Blue Heron down there.”  As the person in charge of the checklist, I nodded and added another stroke by GBHE on the list—#3 for the day.  Pretty good.  Well, it was a good thing that the road took us down past the field.  As we drove past the large bird, the person in the shotgun position hollered “Whoa!!!!!  Sandhill!!!!”  We screeched to a halt, and clambered out of the car to take photos, and we called the DOW wildlife manager involved with the CBC.  What an extraordinary find—a lone Sandhill Crane in a mountain count on December 18!

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