Saturday, August 8, 2009


Stunning isn't he?? This is an African Grey-crowned Crane. One of the 15 species one will see if you visit..the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin..

This is a 225 acre preserve and the only place in the world one can view all 15 species of cranes.
We spent a few hours here during our trip to Wisconsin.
The Grey-crowned crane below is showing off his stuff...notice the clipped feathers on his left wing..obviously to keep him from flying the coop...but oh, what a coop it is! Acres and acres of marshs, woodlands, wildflowers, keep these birds protected and happy!

This young man was really playing the crowd the day we were there..he knew he was being watched and gave us all quite a dance and a grand show of his beautiful plumage!!

In another area of the preserve we saw the Sarus Crane..This is the tallest of all flying birds, 6 FEET TALL, and is usually seen in South East Asia and some times in India.

This pair of Sarus Cranes was being kept in a smaller confine..and as you all know taking pictures through a wire fence can be tricky with the light and the patterns of the fence showing up on their plumage!! It's the new white checker board look!! :(

I am only featuring a few of the cranes we saw. Of course, they were ALL very nice and sharp looking creatures! Such height and such color!! I learned some amazing facts about cranes and even remember seeing the snippets on the news about the ultralights that were helping the Whooping cranes migrate from Fl. The Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America and of course, is so named for its whooping sound. They live to be 22-24 yrs old!! One can also visit the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wis. to witness the return of the cranes in March.
All of the returning Whooping cranes are now offspring of the ones who were lead here by the ultralights between 2001 and 2005... Pretty cool story.. pilots and their airplanes helping birds!!

It was fun and educational to see all the cranes at ICF in Baraboo, but I still love seeing birds in the wild..away from all the wire, fences and crowds of people late the next day as we were returning from the airshow in Oshkosh, we happened to come across these Sandhill Cranes feeding in a front yard along the road....
The lighting wasn't in my favor for seeing all those neat colors or facial details..but knowing their wings weren't clipped and they could come and go as they pleased was satisfying enough.
...and a little new knowledge for this Pennsylvanian...Parsnip..does what??? Aren't they the "other" carrot-type veggie we used to pull out of the ground and eat? lol!! Thank goodness we read this before we went off trail....didn't want to walk on that wild side!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

plump and chubby!!

The day before we left for our trip I happened to catch Daddy wren sitting on my fence with a big juicy green bug in his bill for the juniors..I couldn't believe that this tiny little bird was going to actually be able to gulp down that huge green looked twice his size!!

I thought for sure he was going to gag as he was having a really difficult time getting that creature in his mouth...but Dad knew what he was doing and kept shoving harder into that little one's bill...good thing for Jr. that he had a stable grip on the inside of that nest hole opening!!

I would have thought that after this huge meal and all his work to swallow it, he would tumble to the nest to take a nap..his tummy being so full!! but no....both he and his brother stuck out three quarters of their hairless little bodies.. yelling. ME! ME! ME!! Dad seems to be feeding all by himself...we have not witnessed both adult wrens at the nest box for a while...I have a feeling something happened to Mom :( .... but Dad is quite the worker..and feeds and feeds...
The photo, below, really shows you how naked their little bodies still are...minus all those little feathers, a lot of fuzz here and there. One of those faces that only a mother or father would describe as "isn't our baby the cutest you've ever seen"...??

...and love them they do... he provided take out delivery.. right to the door everyday and all day. I put out some meal worms near the nest box hoping to help in his quest to find yummies but I'm not sure if they eat these types of worms or not.

By the time we returned his babies had fledged but they are remaining in my White Lilac bush near their nest box. How fast they grew those feathers...we weren't even gone a week and look at these two plump and chubby babies!! How much fun it is to see nature work its miracles so near my back porch.

Notice that tiny little tail!! Today they have been flying more and more from the Lilac to a near by larger tree. Soon, I'm sure they will leave ...on to another adventure with Dad, I guess. Being a single parent sure is a lot of work, my hats off to this little male. I think he did a wonderful job!

would like to hear your thoughts..