Friday, October 8, 2010

Whooping Cranes

I went birding yesterday, because I always do on October 7 - it's my birthday!!!!

I left my house at 5:30 a.m.  The sun came up a bit later

I was on my way to Muskiki Lake - at least a five-hour drive - it's way up in central Sask, west of Humboldt, near the junction of Hwys #5 and #2

 It was sort of appropriate that I should run into this group of people - Saskatoon Nature Society, Golden-Eagle Division -  since yesterday I officially became an Old(er) Person! 

They offered to share their lunches

 We were all at this location because

There have been 35 Whooping Cranes counted at Muskiki Lake this year - the largest migrating flock known to date.  The birds have been there for about two weeks, grazing in the wheat fields and shallow salty lakes.  I personally counted 32. 

Three family groups of two adults and a juvenile were way hell and gone at a slough.  Good viewing through a scope.  However, I am no better at digiscoping than normal photography.

And some were in a relatively near-by field.  Still far away.

Here are a couple photos I lifted from the website  International Crane Foundation. to give a better idea of what these magnificent and highly-endangered beauties look like in case you haven't seen them before and/or up closer


For some info on identification, range map, audio recording of the whoop, etc, go to my favourite identification source:  All About Birds

Ontario birder Bruce DiLabio was out here a week or so ago.  He has some photos of these same birds on his blog.