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Sandhill Crane Spotting in Northern Suburbs

My very favorite bird sighting - the Sandhill Crane!

Since it was a beautiful, un-wintry, sunny February day and since my brain has been gyrating wildly between the pressure of schedules, things to do and Sophia Grace and Rosie belting out "Super-Bass" (which is adorable except when it repeats in your brain 12,000 times) I decided to talk a walk today, by myself, sans phone or ear-plugs hooked into my music thingy. And because I did not have my ears plugged into music I heard what I would have otherwise missed - the calls of Sandhill Cranes. At first, I thought I was hearing the rattle call of a crow, which does sound similar but the Sandhill Crane call is more purr-like.  

As soon as I got home I went to Wikipedia to read up on this bird that I've only seen a handfull of times in my entire life. I particularly liked this erudite entry, "Sandhill Cranes are quite catholic in diet but are mainly herbivorous." And I was stunned to learn this amazing fact: they have a wing span of between 5 and 9.5 feet, putting them in league with eagles. Nonetheless, I think they are hard to see up in the sky because they are light and white and blend in if the day is clear. I'm fortunate I heard them.  

The group of Sandhill Cranes I saw today were doing something I had not seen before. They would congregate in a circular sort of puddle and then break out into a formation and then congregate in a circular puddle and then break out into a formation. I don't know what this means. Maybe someone with more knowledge of birds can explain that to me. 

More from Wikipedia: apparently from my vantage point here in the northern suburbs of Atlanta the Sandhill Crane is on a migratory route northward and slightly northwest on his way to Michigan and Minnesota and Canada.   

So glad I opted to leave the ear-phones at home. 

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No Name February 26, 2012 at 03:15 AM
First sighting here in Alpharetta 2 weeks ago. Counted approximately 50 in the flock.
Marc March 01, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Saw them again today above Banister Rd in Cumming. See new picture I uploade. Shot fro quite aways.
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg March 02, 2012 at 12:26 AM
I also had another Sandhill Crane sighting yesterday, 2/29, above Crabapple - only about 5 or 6. Thanks for the new pictures Marc!
Kristen March 02, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I also had an sighting yesterday - large flock of around 50 noisy cranes flying very low over Will's Park in Alpharetta at 12:30 pm
Marc March 02, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Just saw them at 369 and Hendrix road in Cumming. Could not get my camera out in time!

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