I had an Australian friend who never understood why spring was such a joy to those of us in the Upper Midwest—until she visited here in Winter.
Yesterday the sun was out, the wetlands were wet instead of icy and the Sandhill crane pair were “walking the land” as they do every spring. Normally they arrive with the yearling from last year, but this year there are only two. When they walked into the bottomland forest, our new resident eagle flew out! It was a great moment of birding on the farm.
I’m curious now to see whether nesting will be delayed this year by the slightly later spring (normally they are on the nest by April 5). And I wonder how they will feel about raising young with a pair of adult bald eagles hunting in the same bottoms.
NESTING ACTIVITY by the sandhill cranes today… (3/30/09)
They are nesting on the very spot they have nested for the past 3 years. The male and female take tuns working, but they ae not sitting. The off-duty mate is never very far however. No calling, no dancing, no flying in. They both seem quite secretive.
My Dad has raised a couple of Sandhill Cranes near Orlando Fl, they return each year and walk right up to him, really neat – I wondered where they flew off to.
I will be traveling down your river this summer, tom.
March 1, 2010…. Spring is on its way again. The Wisconsin shore may reach 40 degrees this week… the first time since Dec 1, 2009!!
I’m reading about our Sandhill Cranes and the EAGLE last year. Our BALD EAGLE has been out in the bottoms every day this winter. I wonder if he didn’t get our baby sandhills (colts) last year. We were gone before they hatched… and THEY were gone before we got back. We’ll watch closely this year. But I suspect they became EAGLE BAIT.