Today we did touristy things. On the way home, we notice several cars parked along a road bordering a fenced pasture close to the edge of the estuary in Fulton on the coast.
We swing around and see that the object of fascination is the trio of birds slow stepping in the grass about a 100 feet or so from the road. At closer look, those assembled are as one equipped with cameras on tripods each with a lens the size of a pro-football player’s thigh.
Well, laudy miz claudy, who knew we were looking at three whooping cranes!? Now these birds have been clawing their way back from the list of extinction for quite some time. We know that a nearby reserve is a destination and through diligence their flock has increased. But this pasture is sorta a no birds’ land.
One of the bird-people cum lens tells us that the bird pair has been coming here ever since the farm owner fed them in a dry spell. Evidently they are a territorial species and since the arrival of junior, return every year, settle in and prepare to defend their home land against intruders.
Well, I had not intended to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count but destiny calls. I just completed my report. Yeah, I know, I know — they are a little small, trust me they are not chickens. I thought it would be really bad form to climb the fence to get closer.
Visit International Crane Organization for close-ups.