Sandhill Crane Watch


I heard sandhill cranes above our home today (Dec 13).

I heard them also on Saturday (Dec 10).

Last Wednesday (Dec 7) I was at a golf driving range about five miles south of here (probably on the same flyway) when I heard a flock. I spotted them at high altitude, flying in a V. Soon another flock was passing over. I could hear more in the distance, and then I saw about a dozen flocks strung out over several miles on the horizon.

One of the flocks hit an updraft and started riding the spiraling air currents to gain altitude. It was a beautiful day, blue sky and bright sunlight, and the sun mirrored off the flaring underside of their wings, creating flashes of silver as they circled upward. While I was there, several thousand sandhill cranes passed over. It was a wonderful experience.

There were about 10 other people hitting balls at the range. When I looked around, none of them seemed to notice the amazing migration occurring overhead. They must have ignored the melodic chortling the cranes share with anyone who wants to listen.

Perception experts say we only consciously perceive about 10 percent of the sensations in our environment. My experience at the golf range supports that observation.

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