Chicago Sun-Times
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Croaking, Rolling Trumpets and Rattling (or Bonus Wild Wednesday 3-12-08)

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I call it croaking. The more sophisticated folks at Cornell Lab of Ornithology in ``All About Birds'' describe the sound of sandhill cranes as ``a deep, rolling trumpet and rattling.'' Decide for yourself.

Either way, the distinctive sound of sandhills are all over the Chicago area today as a massive migration is underway.

I made my kids identify the sound after school, then showed them a couple dozen riding thermals.

Long-time reader Joe was the first to e-mail: ``The Sand Hills are flying over Wheaton . . . and it is a lovely sound!''

Bob Mikol followed shortly with this note: ``Massive migration passing over Darien, IL. Est. near 3,000+ birds. Awesome to watch them catch the thermals and move on.''

Watch the sky and enjoy.

Changes are coming, as Joe sent in a follow-up note: ``Almost as good as the Peepers, which soon will be heard at the Arboretum.''

Soon enough, soon enough, all kinds of sights and sounds are coming. Long overdue this year.

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Sandhill cranes were flying enmasse today. My friend called from Nelson Lake in Kane County and observed a flock of 8 on the ground soon to be joined by a flock of 20. I have had flocks of red winged blackbirds at my feeders, another sure sign of Spring. I woke early this AM, still dark with a cardinal outside singing away. Some red tailed hawk nests I know of have hawks sitting on them. Now if the chorus frogs would appear!!!
Did I mention I was heading to the UP this weekend to backcountry ski and snowshoe? Some of us can't get enough of winter!!!

But I anxiously await the warm days ahead!!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 12, 2008 5:01 PM.

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