Midwest Crane Count

Yesterday we participated in the Midwest Crane Count, an annual count headed by the International Crane Foundation.

The Birdfreak Team split into two groups.

The event began at 5:00 AM and we were greated by a surprised Song Sparrow as we headed in the dark to our designated location.

Winnebago County at Dawn

The early morning sounds were wonderful – we had Woodcocks “peenting” and Wilson’s Snipes winnowing all around us. A lone Sora called out but we of course were focusing on cranes. We totalled twelve different “sessions” of calls of Sandhill Cranes. No Whooping Cranes but a week or so earlier four were spotting flying over Winnebago.

Our other group saw four Sandhills fly over but heard none! They did spot three Northern Harriers and heard many of the same birds including a Barred Owl.

It was well worth waking early and sitting in the cold. The count only lasted a couple hours but was sure a lot of fun.

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