Since it was a beautiful, un-wintry, sunny February day and since my brain has been gyrating wildly between the pressure of schedules, things to do and Sophia Grace and Rosie belting out "Super-Bass" (which is adorable except when it repeats in your brain 12,000 times) I decided to talk a walk today, by myself, sans phone or ear-plugs hooked into my music thingy. And because I did not have my ears plugged into music I heard what I would have otherwise missed - the calls of Sandhill Cranes. At first, I thought I was hearing the rattle call of a crow, which does sound similar but the Sandhill Crane call is more purr-like.
As soon as I got home I went to Wikipedia to read up on this bird that I've only seen a handfull of times in my entire life. I particularly liked this erudite entry, "Sandhill Cranes are quite catholic in diet but are mainly herbivorous." And I was stunned to learn this amazing fact: they have a wing span of between 5 and 9.5 feet, putting them in league with eagles. Nonetheless, I think they are hard to see up in the sky because they are light and white and blend in if the day is clear. I'm fortunate I heard them.
The group of Sandhill Cranes I saw today were doing something I had not seen before. They would congregate in a circular sort of puddle and then break out into a formation and then congregate in a circular puddle and then break out into a formation. I don't know what this means. Maybe someone with more knowledge of birds can explain that to me.
More from Wikipedia: apparently from my vantage point here in the northern suburbs of Atlanta the Sandhill Crane is on a migratory route northward and slightly northwest on his way to Michigan and Minnesota and Canada.
So glad I opted to leave the ear-phones at home.