Thursday, December 29, 2011

Strange Sighting

What is this bird?

 And why is it in America? specifically, at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee...

Will we band the crane and see where he goes?

These are all questions I was asked during an interview for several papers after I identified this crane as a hooded crane in mid-December. Two women were having a lovely day birdwatching at the Hiwassee Refuge when they spotted this strangely colored crane. When the local Craniac, Charles Murray, appeared on the scene he knew to call me in.

Well, admittedly, I couldn't identify it right away, either. Though the words "hooded crane" came out of my mouth in a quasi questioning tone. After sending pictures of him to the experts at the crane foundation we had our positive identification. We notified the local bird-watchers list serve and the days of peaceful isolation watching cranes from the Hiwassee Refuge observation gazebo were history.

This is what the gazebo used to look like on any given day
Some articles covering the story are:

News Channel 9

Chattanooga Times Free Press

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