Saturday, March 19, 2011

Crane No. 301 checks in from Florida

By David Horst  
I’ve been thinking a lot about cranes lately.
Crane #301 (at center) in Florida.
Photo courtesy of Harriette Canon
That’s not all that unusual for me, but I have had some triggers that got me going in that direction.
One was the March 3 Fox Valley premiere of “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time.” The biographical film on my favorite nature writer, done by the Aldo Leopold Foundation, was terrific. And it featured some great scenes of huge flocks of cranes.
Then, on Monday, I was walking across Houdini Plaza in downtown Appleton and heard a bugling call that has been absent too long through this unending winter. A single sandhill crane – my first of the season – was flying high over College Avenue. Tuesday evening I heard a riotous burst of sandhill enthusiasm flying over the sand hill we call home.
But those were all warm-ups to an email I received from Pat Fisher, the New London bird rehabilitator who thinks about cranes way more than I do.