Thursday, May 15, 2008
I was driving home, taking a different route after work, and saw something strange in a cornfield. I didn't get a good look, but I felt it was worth turning around for. What I thought looked like a giant paper bag... I mean GIANT, which doesn't make sense at all, but I am being honest here... turned out to be a juvenile Sandhill Crane (it's head was down in the corn). How cool is that?
It was my first of the year, which sounds like they are common, but they absolutely are not. I've just been lucky...they only stop for a day or so, so to run into one is pure luck! Note: There has been rumors of a resident in the prairie near by, but the place is huge, so again, for it to be seen where it was (not in the prairie) was amazing. My friend Pam told me of a story where a guy who had no knowledge of birds talked to her while in that particular prairie of a pterodactyl-like creature flying over his head. She thought he might be referring to a crane or a heron, although he described it as being brown. After telling her of my find, she was sure the Sandhill was the responsible party.
Cool Facts: Breeds across Alaska and Canada, eastward to western Quebec, and southward to northern United States. Also in scattered localities across western United States. Also in Siberia. Resident in southern Florida and Cuba.The Sandhill Crane is a tall gray bird of open grasslands, meadows, and wetlands. It congregates in huge numbers in migration.
(Source: All About Birds)