The acquainted sound of flying Sandhill cranes greeted me as I drove via Market Lake Wildlife Administration Space north of Roberts final Tuesday. They didn’t land however headed towards Camas Nationwide Wildlife Refuge the place some had been noticed on Monday night.
As reported final week, the typical arrival day for these stunning cranes is often on March 5, and these have been solely two days late. They should have been shocked later within the week when temperatures dived to file lows — beneath zero recordings — and wished that that they had confirmed up slightly later. Their tail feathers should have been slightly chilly.
They weren’t the one spring arrivals that I discovered on the journey to Market Lake. I noticed 1000’s of male Crimson-winged blackbirds mixing with flocks of European starlings in among the stubble fields between Market Lake and Roberts. Among the males have already begun to stake out nesting areas in preparation for the females’ arrival in a number of weeks. You see, if they’ve gained the proper for an amazing nesting space earlier than the females arrive, they may have extra time to attempt to woo them.
From now till the primary of June, I might be busy following the spring migrations, together with the wonderful courtship shows of the totally different species of birds. One in all my favorites is the courtship and relation-building of the Better sandhill cranes.
There are only some exhibiting up proper now, however by April we can have massive numbers gathering or migrating via Grey’s Lake, Mud Lake, Market Lake, the Camas NWR and the farmlands close to all of those. A gradual drive via these areas will permit you to discover these massive pre-historic wanting birds. After discovering them, park safely to observe and research their shows and battles. Their leaping within the air, dancing and sharing of objects with one another are all the time entertaining. Their dancing makes “Dancing with the Stars” look amateurish.
A number of years in the past, I caught a few sandhill cranes getting right into a critical relationship by enjoying “Frisbee” with a dried-up cow pie. They might seize it and toss it to at least one one other, although catching it within the air was tough. Nothing may be extra romantic than tossing crap at one another. (Simply don’t attempt it bodily or verbally together with your important different. It might destroy your relationship!)
Whereas searching for the sandhill cranes — whenever you come to some cattails or bulrushes — search for the Crimson-wing blackbirds as they develop their relationship with one another. Although not as thrilling or showy, they too may be entertaining.
Then as you strategy groves of timber or bushes, search for outdated magpie or hawk nests which have been flattened. They might have Nice-gray owls nesting in them. This week in my travels I’ve positioned 4 Nice-horned owls sitting on their nests. They began breeding in February and at the moment are maintaining the eggs heat within the bitter chilly. The male is often shut by and might be bringing meals to the nest for the feminine.
With gasoline costs excessive, I should minimize a few of my journey down. However will probably be value a day or two out within the wilds maintaining monitor of the reveals produced by the wildlife. Be protected and benefit from the nice outdoor.