Sunday, December 23, 2007


I was not meant to be a birder. Whether it is my poor eyesight or simply lack of attentiveness, I am only good at spotting BIG or very colorful birds: owls, raptors, green jays, cardinals...

Yesterday's outing to the Whitewater Draw was perfect for me. You can double click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the multitude of BIG BIRDS resting along the shoreline and flying in waves overhead.

Now, these are REALLY BIG birds, Sandhill Cranes, a yard high. They winter at the Whitewater Draw, leaving in the early morning to eat, then returning in the afternoon. We arrived just as the flocks were returning, and it is a sight to see... rivaled only by the SOUND! Sandhill Cranes make a strange, loud, very melodic call. I found it described on the web as "trumpeting, rattling and resonant, "gaarr-oo-oo," audible for over a mile!" but to me it seems more like the ululating sound that Mid-eastern women make (seen by me in movies only, not real life) for celebrations and festivals. Indescribable. Exciting.

Mingled in amongst the Sandhills were a few beautiful waves of Snow Geese, another Big Bird, easily seen by me. They all swirled together overhead against the bright blue sky... that's my kind of birding.

No comments:

Post a Comment