A sign of impending Fall is the birds coming together in flocks, feeding and getting ready for the long flight south. Yesterday there was a group of about 40-50 sandhill cranes in a field down the road from us. The little family I’ve been watching all summer is still intact, 2 youngsters and their parents. I took their picture yesterday. Click on it to see it full size. I’m thrilled that they managed to raise both chicks with no mishaps. They feed every day in the hay field behind the house and I’ve enjoyed watching the little ones grow.
Most of the barn swallows have left. There are a few stragglers still here, the ones that nested late. Lee just had a nest full of fledgelings leave his barn. The barn swallows gather and start perching on the wires shortly before they fly away for the winter. My favorite barn swallow characteristic is the way the babies know to turn around and hang their butts over the side of the nest to poop. I’m in awe of their instincts, but it just makes me giggle to see them do that.
No entry about fall birds would be complete without a mention of the Canada Geese. Did you notice that I wrote Canada and not Canadian? They’re not Canadian geese, they’re Canada Geese. I just had to get that off my chest. Living on the edge of the Horicon Marsh like we do, we see the spring and fall migration of the geese first hand. They won’t be going south for several weeks, but they’re getting together in more organized flocks and making lots of noise when they fly over us.
I could go on and on about the birds we’re privileged to see here. Did I mention that I’m a bird watcher? I could tell you about the American White Pelicans that fly over daily, and the Tundra Swans we see frequently, and the Whooping Crane that lives with the Sandhills, but I won’t 🙂