We once went on a field trip whose theme was that the "best bird" is the one you are currently looking at. This week we are enjoying local birds with a birding friend from California. We went up to the International Crane Foundation, which I've blogged about before. Yes, we saw cranes, but we also saw a baby American Robin about to leave the nest and a House Sparrow about to build one.
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge where we saw a family of Whooping Cranes in the wild and some Trumpeter Swans. They were too far away for good photos but we saw them well from the observation tower using our scope.
Biologists are working at Necedah to establish a second migratory flock of Whooping Cranes. They have already had success directly releasing chicks to follow adults that already know the migration route between Necedah and Florida. Some chicks are still led south by ultralight but they plan to phase that out as the flock grows. The refuge itself is very beautiful and we had a grand time enjoying the wide open spaces.
Cherokee Marsh where Mr. Rududu got photos of the red eyed vireo—a bird that usually torments me by singing persistently from the top of tall trees where I can't see it. Today vireo satisfaction was total.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens where our very common but magnificent Northern Cardinal posed in all his glory.