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Sand Hill Cranes in Flight

Cropped image of the Sand Hill Cranes

Cropped image of the Sand Hill Cranes

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!

DSC_1371 - 2013-02-15 at 10-31-43DSC_1377 - 2013-02-15 at 10-31-54

DSC_1385 - 2013-02-15 at 10-32-03

DSC_1384 - 2013-02-15 at 10-32-03

DSC_1411 - 2013-02-15 at 10-35-04DSC_1424 - 2013-02-15 at 10-39-10


Comments on: "Sand Hill Cranes in Flight" (9)

  1. TexWisGirl said:

    how awesome! lucky you!

    • Hi Theresa, Yes it is very thrilling to see and hear the Sand Hill Cranes! I saw another group late this afternoon but it was very very cold and snowing so no pictures. That group will have a tough flight for sure. It was about 28 out with light snow. Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

  2. What an awesome sight and sound this must have been!!! For me, It is so exciting to me to see and hear the Canada Geese fly, and this must have been even better!!!

    • Hi Ginny, I get very excited about all this wildlife and seeing the Sand Hill Cranes is no exception! I sure do hope one day you also can see some Sane Hill Cranes. Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

  3. That’s a lot of those big birds. I would love to see that!

    • Hi Montucky, Yes, they came wave afar wave of groups. I think that yesterday, today and possibly tomorrow are major take-off days. The wildlife preserve at Hiwassi in Dayton is about 45 or so miles Southeast of here, and I am sure lots of these cranes came from Hiwassi. Have a great rest of the weekend!

  4. How cool, lucky you! I wish I could have seen them too. Great sighting and photos. Happy Weekend!

  5. I am looking forward to our sandhill cranes coming back. No sign of them yet. When they do show up, it is one of the first signs of spring.

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