I was in the garden on Sunday, Nov 25, removing the last of the tomato plants. We had had our first hard frost on Saturday night and the tomato plants had wilted. As I worked, I heard the sweet sound of Sandhill Cranes chortling and saw several V-shaped flocks heading south.
On Monday, Nov 26, I heard a flock nearby. I went into our front yard and a flock was over our home, circling in an updraft, using the solar heated air to gain elevation without having to climb using their own power.
I look forward to seeing them twice a year. I have documented their migrations in the blog for about 10 years. The Sandhill Cranes seem to be able to predict the duration of winter. When they pass by heading south earlier than usual, it means winter starts early. When the are flying north early, it means winter is ending early. I value their foresight.