Today, the time has come for me to share a saved tidbit - because, finally the Sandhill Cranes began flowing like a rapidly running river through West Cobb County.
I saw and heard the first huge mass of sandhill cranes around 1:15 while I was at the garden talking to BJ. - thanks BJ for sharing that joyous moment with me. The next big mass I saw in the sky was when I came out of Kroger on Dallas Hwy around 1:45. There were hundreds circling and calling in the sky with more headed towards them. Usually I avoid going out the entrance facing the Avenues of West Cobb because traffic is such a PITA.
But today I said to myself, nope, I'll just go out that entrance because I can watch the sandhill cranes when I get stopped at the traffic light at Due West and Dallas Highway. Lucky me..another huge kettle of sandhill cranes was forming up over the Bank of America building just as I arrived and I got to sit through the entire light. YES! the entire light!!
Once I got home I watched thousands of them sail over head for several more hours - all headed south at a rapid clip. I'm thinking they finally the message after this last cold spell that it really was time to head to Florida for the winter. There is a huge gathering spot in Tennessee called the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Birchwood Tennessee that sees large flocks of sandhill cranes in the fall and winter, 30 to 40,000 sometimes.
Here is my saved up factoid about sandhill cranes which I read in the Atlanta Audubon Newsletter.
"Their coiled tracheas enhance their calls, sending the notes out long before the birds are seen, causing us to look up in expectation."
I had never really thought about how they produce the sound, I just love listening to it. Interestingly enough, in March of this year one of the posts I wrote included a section on Sandhill Cranes. There just so happens to be a link it in if you want to listen to a sandhill crane calling. (This link is to the article itself - http://greenmeadowscommunitygarden.blogspot.com/2014/03/signs-of-spring.html)
Now that the cranes are really here, I think I'll be going on a wild goose (i.e. crane) chase up to Field's Landing in Cherokee County to see if I can see them up close and personal. Fields Landing is only 45 minutes from here. Last year several of my community garden friends (Rita and Elise) and I went up there to see if we could see any. Nope...we were too late and they had all gone north so it really was a wild goose/crane trip.
Be sure and keep your ears open and your eyes flicking upwards towards the sky listening and watching for sandhill cranes since they are finally on the move again. And now I've gone full circle with this topic and connected Sandhill Cranes to the Garden as well as reported on them migrating south to GABO (Georgia Birders Online.)