Saturday, December 8, 2007

Those Crazy Cranes

Today the cranes were out on the lake. I hadn't noticed them out there for a while, and thought maybe they had migrated south for the winter. At first they looked bigger to me but then I figured out that they are standing on the lake instead of in it due to it being frozen. They still bend down and peck their beaks at the ice, which makes me wonder whether they are able to get at things somehow or if they're just not very smart.

I wish I had a better zoom on my camera so that I could get clearer pictures of these birds. They are probably between 4 and 5 feet tall and have this prehistoric look about them. Their calls are indescribable: very loud and odd sounding. I feel lucky that I get to look at them out of my window. Some of the most expensive places to stay on the Walt Disney World property are those that have a view of their safari animals. So in line with that thinking my house must be very valuable.

The most amazing thing that the cranes did recently was on Thanksgiving Day. I looked out and guess what they were doing? Hosting a party! Jeffrey thought it made perfect sense that they would have family gatherings just like we do. But if you think about it you wonder how do they get the message out to everybody? They can't exactly send out an email with the place and time. But somehow they had to communicate that because we actually watched them fly in from all directions and drift down to the meeting spot in small groups. Incredible.


Aunt Kathy said...

Great, now I'm going to worry about cranes freezing to death in sub-zero Michigan weather. Would Larry consider placing a bale of hay at the edge of the lake, so they could build a really warm nest?

Anonymous said...

Mindy- Don't we all have a birdwatcher illustrated book? If you don't, you really need to get a good one for a gift. This must be a hearty, Michigan bird that stays all winter, unlike its wimpy, thin blooded Floridian relatives. So great to see the cranes out on your lake!
Someone told me that birds know that there is food in a birdfeeder when they see squirrels near it. Maybe the other cranes knew it was Thanksgiving because of all the cars in driveways and streets, also seen from above.
Should I give you a brand new Audubon bird caller whistle or should I save it for when I am a crazier old lady? love, Aunt Chris

Anonymous said...

Did you notice that in the picture it looks like the cranes made a heart in the snow?
Mary Beth

Mindy said...

Wow! I had not noticed the heart. We do have a little bale of hay from a halloween display, I'll see what happens if I put it out there. I do have a bird book, it is for all of North America. It was a gift from Aunt Vicki back when we used to draw names. As far as I can tell these are Sandhill Cranes and they are supposed to migrate south. If I could fly I know I'd be gone by now. And just who would be the craziest old lady, the one who gives the birdcall or the one who uses it?

Pam & Steve said...

I saw the heart in the picture right away. pretty

kid_curry said...

Those crane scarier the ba cheez whiz out of me the other night when Joe was in China. I was quietly Christmas shopping aroun 10:30pm when, "Squawk!!!" Right in front of my house. They shouted out a couple more times, stayed just long enough for me to comfirm what I'd heard. Noisy buggers aren't they?