November 18, 2012

Sandhill crane

Grus canadensis

Grus canadensis

Migrations can be tough on sandhill cranes.

The journey from their main nesting grounds in Alaska and northern Canada to wintering grounds in south Texas and neighboring areas can be too exhausting for some to survive. Along the way they encounter predators including coyotes, eagles and human hunters.

Birds resting at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge were caught in last weekend’s barrage of high winds and sizable hail. An avid birder estimated there were about 25 sandhills dead or dying the next day from the pounding.

Sandhill cranes have also been killed by flying into power lines near feeding fields.

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