Yesterday several hundred Sand Hill Cranes flew over my home here in Cumberland County, TN. They were migrating back North from their Winter homes here in the South. There is a State of Tennessee wildlife preserve in Dayton, TN called Hiwassi that these Sand Hill Cranes likely were coming from. The Cranes will be flying way up to the Midwestern States and maybe even up to Canada. They flew in a defined “V” or a long single slanted line for much of the time, but I noticed that a large group of the birds began to fly in a milling, circling type of slow flight. They were simply waiting for the following groups to catch up to them. Smart birds!
The Sand Hill Cranes almost continuously sounded-off while flying, in order to keep the groups reasonably together. The long-distance sound that the flock made was almost like a pretty high-pitched, “blurbble, blurbble, blurbble”. I sure was pleased to see the birds, even though from a distance. They were flying pretty high in the sky and were traveling fast. Our weather was rainy and cold so the travel for the birds won’t be easy for the next day or two at least. I took these pictures in my yard on Feb. 15, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!