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Whooping Cranes Still Stalled at Stopover #6

Whooping Cranes Still Stalled at Stopover #6

Here’s the latest Whooping Crane news update…

Migration Day 25: Today is the tenth down-day at Stopover #6 in LaSalle County, IL. where the cranes and planes landed October 12. This the longest stretch of time the team has ever been held down at this Stopover. Either rain or strong winds out of the south have been the culprits. They’re still stuck at 175 miles gone until the weather favors them. Keep fingers crossed!

On one especially windy day, the “chicks” showed they knew how to handle high winds. All six turned their faces into the wind, moved to the front of the pen, and stood in a huddle while the wind swirled past. Corn and pumpkins amuse them for now, but everyone is eager to move on. This year’s finish line at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is a total of 1101 air miles. All six of the Class of 2012 will spend winter there; none will continue this year to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge (1285 air miles).

Livingston County is the next Illinois stop, 55 miles away. When will the weather let them leave? See daily reports on Operation Migration’s site, and explore Journey North’s rich array of classroom materials throughout the migration. Monday, October 29, is the next weekly summary.

However, I see no reason why this could justify the Whooping Cranes joining the KKK!

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Oh, I forgot to say earlier that a Red-shouldered Hawk landed at my feet today – literally!  I stopped for a moment to collect my thoughts and “plop” the hawk just dropped in right in front of me and started playing with a thin object.  I don’t think it was a snake, glassworm or worm (I actually think it was a shoe-lace or garden-tie) but it was either fooled, or just playing.  It certainly wasn’t bothered by me at all.  I waited until it flew to a near-by branch before I got out my camera, but it landed in an awkward place to get a good shot.  However, its “red shoulders” were so clearly showing that I decided to take a picture of it for that reason alone (and to add a little colour to this story).

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Say’s says goodbye!

And finally, I just received an email from Bev who tells me that 7 birders were out Sunday scouring the preserve for either the Say’s Phoebe or the Vermilion FC with no luck.  So those two individuals have moved on to… well, to wherever those kinds of birds go at this time of year?!  Hopefully someone (presumably further South than me) will have them show up in their neck-of-the-woods – so keep your eye’s peeled SLB, just in case!

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