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Sand Hill Cranes in the Sky

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!


Comments on: "Sand Hill Cranes in the Sky" (9)

  1. TexWisGirl said:

    SO cool! i just love the area in which you reside!!! so much to see there!

    • Hi TexWisGirl, We are quite happy here. Cumberland County, TN has lots of wildlife due to geography, low concentration of human population, and natural resources. Good climate, too! In spite of recent weird weather, we do have mild winters here. Have a wonderful day!

  2. I haven’t been able to get any good pictures of flocks flying, let alone cranes. We have never seen any kind of crane. These are great.

    • Hi Ginny, I sure hope you’ll get to see some cranes! I am happy to live under the flight path for the migrating waterfowl, especially the Sand Hill Cranes that fly south to the Hiwassee preserve here in TN. Have an excellent weekend!

  3. Neat, Linda… Guess I don’t look UP enough. We were out today taking a long walk—and I never saw a thing… Duh!!!!!!

    Great photos.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Hi Betsy, Well, if it make you feel any better, I did not see any cranes today at all. I did see them the two prior days at between 12:15 and 1:00 in the afternoon. Who can say when more will appear? I do hope you’ll see some. Have a great weekend – maybe snow on Sunday! We will see.

  4. I’m glad to see flights of that size and know that they are still recovering and increasing in numbers. You are fortunate to be in their migration route!

  5. Very interesting. I saw my first sandhill cranes of the season yesterday. My understanding is that the cranes we have here overwinter in Florida. In the fall they leave in big groups like you have pictured, in the spring they come back in pairs, two by two, gradually…we would never see a large flock like you have in the spring.

  6. Lucky you, to see them fly over and to live so close to were they are hanging out for the winter. Maybe I will make it to that refuge next year. Love your photos. Have a Happy Sunday!

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