Friday, November 10, 2006

They're back!

What a treat! As I sauntered out for yesterday’s walk, I suddenly heard the dulcet sounds of the Sandhill cranes. As it turned out, I actually did very little walking and mostly stood watching as wave after wave of these birds flew overhead. Most of the flocks were quite high up, but they were clearly visible in the sky as they wheeled and turned like swirling leaves. What a treat it is to be at the Arboretum to witness the spring and fall migration of these birds!
We’re fortunate in this area to be so close to
Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area in Indiana. (Great recent article in Chicago Wilderness Magazine about Jasper-Pulaski.) The cranes often stop at J-P to refuel and there are several viewing areas to watch (and listen) to these birds. According to their recent migration report, on November 6th @ 14,436 cranes were counted at J-P. Whew! That’s a lot of cranes!
If I piqued your interest in these birds, I would encourage you to visit the Sterling Morton Library and explore these resources:

Crane music : a natural history of American cranes by Paul A. Johnsgard - QL696.G8J59
The cry of the sandhill crane by Steve Grooms - QL696.G84G76

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) in The Birds of North America, No. 31 - Reference QL681.B62 – terrific resource with lots of detailed information
Sandhill cranes by Lynn Stone - J QL696.G84 S76

The sandhill cranes by Lawrence Walkinshaw - QL696.G8W3
In addition to these books, our journal collection contains such titles as Audubon, Bird Watcher's Digest, Living Bird, Illinois Audubon and National Wildlife which would also have articles of interest.
While our collections in the Sterling Morton Library focus on works of botany and horticulture, we have a rich collection of birding resources.
Further information can also be found at:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
International Crane Foundation
Illinois Natural History Survey

Hope you have an opportunity to witness this seasonal avian event!

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