Yesterday I saw two large flocks of the migrating Sand Hill Cranes. Many of these beautiful large cranes over-winter here in Tennessee at a state-run nature preserve, the Hiwassee Wildlife Preserve. This preserve is near the town of Dayton and is about fifty miles southeast of here. These cranes are returning to their northern homes in the upper mid-west and in Canada. These cranes were flying way high up in the sky. It was a cloudy day and I think that the light breezes may have enticed the birds to soar a bit. The flock was very loose in their formation and most did not form that classic “V” shape (a few trailing groups did make that V though).
I saw one big flock fly over my former home neighborhood about 15 miles north of here earlier in the afternoon. There was a Bald Eagle that was showing a certain interest in the cranes but did not approach them. That flock did take notice and were very noisy in their flight. I took these pictures later in the afternoon in my front yard when I saw that second flock. I cropped the picture for the header so you could see the birds more easily. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!