Apr 26-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: April: Apr 26-06
Struttin' his stuff    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Tom Cook
And we have liftoff!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Tom Cook

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:57 am:

Michigan's largest bird, the Sandhill Crane, has a long neck and legs, giving them a sizable appearance, when they actually only weigh between 9 and 12 pounds, depending on the gender. They normally have a grayish coloring, but these particular Cranes, photographed by Tom Cook, probably were preening with the surrounding vegetation or dirt in the fields to obtain the reddish brown coloring. Either that, or they could just be immature birds, which are brownish also. No matter which, they're quite the species to observe, whether high stepping around a field or graceful in flight, you'll be able to identify them by their unique call that can be heard for over a mile. If you'd like to hear a rendition of their trumpet like vocalization, visit identify.whatbird.com, then double-click on the small speaker, where it says: Listen: Sandhill Crane Voice.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:08 am:

Great shots, Tom! When you can get birds in flight like that, you know you did a good job!

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:31 am:

Sur5er, if that bird was only pink in color, it could almost pass as the Flamingo!

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:37 am:

Tim, When I lived by a marsh in Gibralter, years ago, and I remember looking out my window and being able to watch the cranes.

Bobbysgirl, You are too funny.

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 10:40 am:

Very nice!I filmed Sandhill Cranes on video in Bootjack in a field by Le Blanch's.Look at them wings,one up and one down.I'am in awe.Very nice Tom.

By David C Cloutier (Dccloutier) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 11:07 am:

Another possible explaination for these cranes brownish appearance could be the camera settings. With some cameras if the white balance is set for flourescent light as opposed to natural light it would give the photos a more yellowish to brownish coloration. There are situations that photographers will use this technique to enhance the colors, such as for a shot of a sunset.

Mary says: I thought about the camera settings too David, but then if you look closely at the neck, up near the head is gray and it appears that the feathers under the wings, along the body are grayish also. That is a characteristic of preening with the above mentioned in my notes, since those are "hard" to reach areas. I guess, only the cranes know for sure! ;-)

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 12:05 pm:

Love it; they come here in the winter.

By Dr. Nat in Texas (Drnat) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 01:48 pm:

About ten miles south of where I lived in New Mexico was a wildlife refuge where sandhill cranes (and a few whooping cranes) would spend the winter. It's amazing the amount of noise the cranes can make when you get a group of them together.

By Susan Lahti (Finn_in_texas) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 02:20 pm:

Speaking of bird calls, I'm wondering what makes the bird call I remember hearing when up north. When you visit the Finlandia University website, you hear the call. Can anyone help me with this one?

By Lori Houle (Runnerlori) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 06:31 pm:

I love todays pictures of the sand hill cranes...I have only seen them on the road near St. Ignace on a couple of trips to or from the U.P. right along I-75. My sister has them in her backyard in Sunshine Location up there on Quicny hill, but I haven't had the privelige to see them there. I appreciate the link, Mary, thank you. I looked up great blue heron there as well and found some info I had been curious about. there is a rookery here in lower Michigan, in a park with a nature trail, right in the middle of suburbia, that I visit every year. It is an amazing place with hundreds of heron and egret nests very high up in the dead trees. When the young herons have hatched, it is very loud, surreal and kind of like you are in Jurassic Park with those huge birds flying in and out feeding their young.

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 06:55 pm:

Great shots. Love watching these birds. I once followed one with my camera trying to get a shot of it flying, as Tom did. He/she would walk/stroll ahead of me by 50-60 yards. The stroll started in a field and went into the woods and back to the field then back to the woods and so on. I finally gave up and she never did fly. I suspect there was a nearby nest but did not find one. The following link is an excellent Sandhill reference and explains the preening process quite well.


Mary says: Thanks Ken, that's actually one of the sites that I obtained the information for my notes from! :->

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:06 pm:

Finn in Texas--

That's a white-throated sparrow. I just heard a
couple of them singing to each other while out
on my morning walk in the park. Sometimes
in the winter I go to the Finlandia site just to
listen to the birdsong. My mom always said
it's song was "Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody,

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 07:55 pm:

Your welcome, Mary. I've heard that great minds congregate at that site :-) Kosk, love the Old Sam Peabody song. I was looking for the song and found this in the Cornell University site:

"The White-throated Sparrow sings its breeding song of "Oh Sweet Canada Canada Canada" across the most of that country. Although its breeding range barely extends outside of Canada, it is common in fields and hedgerows throughout the eastern United States in winter. It is found in urban areas more frequently than most sparrows."

By Walter P McNew (Waltermcnew) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 08:27 pm:

very nice pictures lots of them in fla. mostly in the fields, although usually not far from water
esp. when they are with chicks

By Susan Lahti (Finn_in_texas) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 09:19 pm:

Thank you Kosk in Toronto for putting a name to my memory. Your mom was right. The WhatBird.com site puts the words "Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody" to the song of the white throated sparrow.

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 09:39 pm:

I've read that sandhill cranes are game birds somewhere out west, Wyoming I believe. Some outdoor writer in Milwaukee wrote about several years ago. I love the song of the white-throated sparrow, very sweet sounding isn't it?

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 09:45 pm:

It must be true, 'eh? The cranes fly with their necks stretched out, and the herons fly with their head and neck sorta folded back. I've heard their 'melodious' sound many times this spring. They were WAY up there, couldn't see 'em. But there was a couple in the field just east of my house. There is a small pond 'bout 1/2 way across the 40. Alas, no camera that day.

By Mel, Kansas (Mehollop) on Friday, April 28, 2006 - 11:35 am:

MsKatie -

There's also a hunting season for Sandhill cranes in Kansas. It ran from November 9 - January 5 this past season, with a daily bag limit of 3, possession limit of 6.

I'm not really sure what the point of hunting cranes would be, but some people will shoot anything.

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