Quaker Sandhill Cranes

28 10 2011

Sandhill Cranes - Ken Mirman

After a steady day at the hawkwatch in which we tallied a nice number of Red-shouldered Hawks (69), we were treated to a late afternoon push that included bunches of Turkey Vultures, a Golden Eagle but best of all  a group of six Sandhill Cranes.

In 2009 we had a group of 5 Sandhill Cranes fly over Quaker, so for fun I checked back to see what day they appeared and bizarrely enough it was on almost the same exact day – October 29th (story here)!!!!! They were such a notable flock that they were tracked from Cape Cod, Massachusetts where they originated through Rhode Island, Connecticut and finally they were picked up on the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border (a report from Georgia seemed less likely to appertain to the same group but was wholly possible).

This year there were again a group of Sandhill Cranes out in Wareham on the Cape and surprise surprise it seems like there were six of them (listserve note here on Cape Cod Birds). To me it seems wholly possible that the Quaker birds (depending on further reports from Wareham) may be their group of six birds. It’s kind of amazing and pretty damn cool that we had a large group head over Quaker Ridge on almost the same day two years later and that they may well be the same group of birds that originated in Wareham!!!!

If these are the Wareham birds does it mean they fly the same route every year in the same little window of days? It does boggle the mind somewhat and makes one really wonder about the incredible migrations that these birds undertake.

Thanks to Ken Mirman for the use of his shots.

Sandhill Cranes - Ken Mirman

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