Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Birds are Back

It's been a lot of fun listening to the different sounds in the air as migrating birds pass through the area on their way further north and breeding birds return to make their nests and get ready to fill them.

One of my favorite bird sounds is the sandhill crane, which sounds like sort of a rattling, gurgling goofball. I know, that's highly scientific. Maybe it would be better to call them pterodactyls like my husband does. If you want to hear the call, click here and go about half-way down the page.

The sandhill cranes like to hang out in the fields eating grain and insects.

The pivots are big attractions for ravens and hawks. We call the hawks 'pivot hawks' no matter what species they are. The convenient high perch helps all the birds spot prey, like gophers.

Another noisy bird that's back is the long-billed curlew. That long bill is slightly different between the males and females, and they use it to eat little invertebrates, including digging earthworms out of the fields.

Here's a closer view of that cool-looking bill. It almost makes the bird look a little unbalanced. You can find out more "official" information here

There are a lot of other birds that have come back lately, and with the trees putting on leaves, it's getting harder to spot some of them. Some of the birds are busy building nests, while others are more intent on finding food. It's definitely a busy time of the year, and it's fascinating to observe it. So turn off your computer and head outside for one of the greatest shows on earth!

2 comments:

The Incredible Woody said...

I think you described the call of the sandhill crane perfectly!

eped said...

I also heard the first cranes in a while today.
good pics too. and I tend to associate cranes w/ aluminum sprinklers as sort of companions on the same landscape

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