Birding in Eastern Washington forum: Othello Sandhil Crane Festival

 
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ImageRarejem
Feb 18, 2010 10:56 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
The Othello Sandhill Crane Festival is coming up in March. It is March 26, 27, and 28th 2010 in Othello Washington. You can find more information at http://www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org . Last year was the first time that I had experienced the festival, and it was a wonderful experience! In addition to tours of the local crane migration areas, there are burrowing owl tours, other birdwatching tours, and a series of wonderful lectures focusing on birding, nature, and conservation. It is well worth the trip if you are any kind of birding enthusiast!
You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
katie59
Mar 18, 2010 9:42 PM CST
Name: xxa aax
bbb, bbb
Very cool!

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Mar 19, 2010 8:47 AM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
We were by Othello last weekend and the cranes have started arriving. Julie has some cool pictures of them in the air. Couldn't find any on the ground yet. Maybe Julie will publish a picture?
katie59
Mar 19, 2010 1:12 PM CST
Name: xxa aax
bbb, bbb
That would be great. I remember going to watch the Geese at Creamer's Dairy in Fairbanks, Alaska in the 1960's with my folks. We'd drive there after dinner and then sit and watch them. Sometimes we'd walk to the dairy. I'm not sure whether it was a working dairy then or not.

The field was full of thousands of geese migrating down to the "Lower 48". My mom would always wear her "goose shoes", saddle shoes that I think she'd had for 20 years. It was a marvelous sight.

ImageRarejem
Mar 22, 2010 12:41 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
Don't you love those types of memories Kathy?

The cranes were still coming in way too high to get any kind of a decent photo, but I did take a few that at least made me smile.

The "V"........

Thumbnail by Rarejem

You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
ImageRarejem
Mar 22, 2010 12:44 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
A "V" with a little bit of reconstruction going on.....

Thumbnail by Rarejem

You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
ImageRarejem
Mar 22, 2010 12:52 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
And as close as I could get to kind of show the coloring......

Thumbnail by Rarejem

You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
katie59
Mar 22, 2010 1:34 PM CST
Name: xxa aax
bbb, bbb
Ooooh. First of all, you just don't see blue sky like that around here very much. What a happy color.

And to think that those birds are as large as they are - I count 49 of them. I wonder if they always fly in groups of around 50. What an awesome phenomenon and you captured it, Julie!

Was it noisy? I remember that the geese were very loud when they came in . . . I can actually hear it as I type. :-)

ImageRarejem
Mar 22, 2010 3:06 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
Kathy, The cranes are very similar to geese in terms of noise....although I would almost venture to say that they are a bit louder than the geese as you can usually hear them well before you see them. They have a very distinctive call. The first time I heard them, I was working in the EWA yard and Mom had told me that there would probably be cranes flying by and that I would recognize them by their distinctive call. Boy was she right. Even now, several years later, I still find myself stopping what I am doing and trying to spot them when I hear them.

Here is an example of their ruckus....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGfLIjnwZyc

Hopefully we will be able to see/hear this many this comming weekend. We are planning to arrive just before dusk on Friday night, and know the general area that the flocks are said to roost for the evening, so we will be in the sage with our binocs. and cameras waiting for hopefully a large fly-by. Thumbs up
You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
katie59
Mar 22, 2010 9:01 PM CST
Name: xxa aax
bbb, bbb
Huh. The sound has an almost hollow or whistle-like sound to it. Thanks for sending the link. I'll be picturing the two of you out there watching on Friday night. Don't forget your mosquito repellent.

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Mar 24, 2010 11:35 AM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Actually, Kathy, the utube version seemed a little too loud to get the "real" sound. The parts where there is more of a "trill" is the distinctive sound you recognize easily. HOPE the misquitoes are NOT out yet!
katie59
Mar 24, 2010 12:39 PM CST
Name: xxa aax
bbb, bbb
And of course there's nothing like being there, right?

I haven't seen any mosquitos yet, but it always seems that they're out JUST before you remember to take the repellent with you.

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:19 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Got to find one burrowing owl while visiting Othello.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:22 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Here is him standing next to his burrow.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:24 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Here is a field of cranes. Sorry the picture isn't any clearer.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:26 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Here is a "stuffed" crane in the display at the festival.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:31 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
We loved to be able to see the presentation put on by the WSU Raptor Club. They concentrate on the recovery of injured raptors and have a small selection that are not able to be reintroduced into the wild. Here is the beginning of the presentation.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:33 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
We got to see several raptors up close and personal.

Here is a red-tailed hawk.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:35 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
And a dark morph version of the red-tail.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

ImagePNWMountaingirl
Apr 2, 2010 4:37 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
A sharp-shinned hawk.

Thumbnail by PNWMountaingirl

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