Wilson Post Blogs
Our Feathered Friends- Feb. 6
It's been a while since I have been able to write an article on Our Feathered Friends, so I am hoping you have missed me as much as I have missed you. Most of my problems have consisted of pain in my left hand, where typing has been at a premium for me. Several of you have either called me or my Mother to ask whats going on, why did he stop writing? I will try to keep you all informed of my medical problems that conflict with my being able to sit down at my computer and type an article.
I received an e-mail from my good friend Betsy Sellars Foutch about her sighting of a flock of large white birds with black wingtips. The first thing that comes to mind is the Whooping Crane, (Grus Americana), which is our tallest North American bird and also on the federal endangered species list. Hunting and loss of habatit was the reason for their decline. Bach in 1941 the population had dropped down to twentyone in the wild, and only two that was in captivity. With carefull conservation efforts, these Cranes have made a slight comeback, which by the year, 2011, the numbers have improved to 437 in the wild with 165 in captivity. They are not out of the woods yet.
The Cranes stand five feet tall and the wingspan is seven and a half feet. The adult bird has a red crown with a long pointed beak on a mostly white body, except for the wingtips which are black. In flight they fly with their neck straight out and their legs behind them. The old breeding grounds was in Alberta Canada, and their wintering grounds around Corpus Christi, Texas.
A new breeding area has been established in central Wisconsin where the first year birds have been trained to fly behind an ultralight aircraft to winter in Florida. Once this path has been imprinted on these Cranes, they will remember this and that will be their migration route. It could be that some of these decided to make a stop-over out Big Springs Road toward the eastern part of Wilson County. Becky said that they were in a grassy field, instead of landing in water.
The only other bird that might resemble them would be the White Pelican, which I have seen down in Key West Florida. Also I watched a large flock headed north along the Mississippi Flyway at Reelfoot Lake. This past Friday, Carole Young and myself were headed back to Lebanon, from Murfreesboro, when she spotted some large birds flying high in the sky. We were in traffic right at the innersection of highway 231, and Old Fort Parkway. Of course, I didn't have my binoculars, waiting for the light to change, and nowhere to pull over to even when it did. What were we looking at? Whooping Crane or White Pelicans, I'll never know.
While shopping at a well known super storw, I met a couple of new friends over in the birdseed aisle. Vicki Czerkies and Charlotte Longsworth were trying to figure what they wanted to feed to their birds. We talked for several minutes, while they selected the seeds for their feathered friends. I asked them if they fed suet cakes and extolled on them the benefits of having a multitude of Woodpeckers. Vicki liked the idea, but the store was out of the special suet feeders, so she may check back to see when they might get back in stock.
There are a few bird lovers that do not use the internet and the only way that I get in touch with them is through the mail, with letters and cards. This past week, I lost a very sweet reader, Grace Farrar. I will greatly miss her and heaven has gained a precious soul.