We awoke to a skiff of wet snow this morning with the promise of another 5-8" tonight. These spring snowstorms are called poor man's fertilizer because they can put more nitrogen and wetness into the soil than anything. Along with the snowy wetness came a migration. The Sandhill Crane has come back to us. (See how he's standing on one foot. I love that!)
I was walking out to do chores and spotted him immediately. Sandhill Cranes are very large aquatic birds -- about 37" in height with a wingspan of 80" -- not easily overlooked on the prairie. This one was on our stock pond by the house.
I loved seeing his reflection in the water -- a double blessing.
We don't ever see great flocks of these birds, but mostly pairs of them. I believe their breeding grounds are farther north of us, but we always have a few that seem to hang around the ranch for the summer.
The Red-wing blackbirds are back in full force and in great flocks. Today a large flock found my sunflower seeds in the backyard and wow, do they know how to make a racket. I call them the "Rock Stars of the Bird World" because their calls and trills and squawks remind me of hard rock music (in comparison to other bird calls and songs). Take a listen to this video below.
The meadowlarks have swooped upon us in a great wave too. The prairie is covered with them. I tried to get a picture of them, but they are mostly scattered over the ground and few were up on the fence posts. Soon they will separate out of their flocks and into pairs and will establish their own territories. They are solitary birds mostly, except when migrating. Click the video below for a sampling of their sing-song trills. You will also hear some wind rumbling and a couple of cows bellowing amongst the songs.
I apologize for the poor quality video, but since it snowed and was gray and gloomy, it didn't make for the best conditions for filming, plus my camera doesn't do the best video anyway. It does gather sound well though!