Thursday, April 01, 2010

Migration....

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!

10 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your post -- as usual! Just reading about the country sights and sounds makes me a bit homesick. Living in even a small town, with neighbors literally three feet away, just isn't the same. From reading your posts, I can tell you know how fortunate you are. Enjoy it to the max -- and keep posting those lovely bird songs!

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  2. What a treat to hear the birds in both videos! :0)
    I love that sand crane, too.

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  3. Love those birds! and thanks for stopping by earlier...

    I’ve left a little award for you on my blog today. I always enjoy your posts. -Christy

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  4. What a thrill...to hear the songs of the birds! We got 8-12 inches of snow this morning...nice joke mother nature! Come say hi :D

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  5. I sent them directly up to you! Ha they winter around here on the wheat fields. I think they are cool and love to see them flying and the noise they make.

    ~M~

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  6. Hi Jody! Were my photos really all messed up? That's so weird! I know Blogger gets a little wobbly sometimes and photos don't show up right away. I wouldn't be surprised if our blogs melded together since we are such kindred spirits. Smile.
    I love looking at your prairie and listening to the birds. We don't have a lot of birds yet. However, the fat breasted robins are looking especially fine this spring. I still mean to print out the lamb picture, frame it and put it somewhere special. I almost bought yet another stuffed lamb yesterday. I'm a weird granny - buying stuffed toys for myself! What are you reading? lovelove

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  7. How fun to see nature in your part of the world Jody! We have a Sandhill Crane migratory area about 2 hours west of us and it's an amazing thing to go and see them when they're headed south.

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  8. I am always amazed at all the nature around you, you are very blessed xoxox Clarice

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  9. Thank you for sharing Jody :) I love it!

    Wishing you and our family a Blessed Resurrection Day!
    ~Sharon

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  10. We are in Florida for the winter and have a fairly large pond between us and the golf course. We have the pleasure of the cranes all winter.
    They can make a lot of noise but it is worth it.

    Would you be kind enough to share the pattern company and the number for the reversible apron. I wear half aprons and am always spilling things on my top. I think I could use a couple.

    I really enjoy your blog and have been readig it for a long time. From city life to country living is quite a change.

    Hugs

    FredaB

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