Whoopers and Amish birders (?) on Wild Sunday 11-23-08

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I can only imagine what the massive flight of 42 whooping cranes reported in northern Indiana on Tuesday must look like.

Alan Anderson, the Des Plaines birder, often forwards things like this. He found this one on the Indiana bird list about a series of sightings through LaGrange and Elkhart counties.

Something like that would tend to get noted.

As whooping cranes make a slow recovery, the migrating birds are being sighted in the oddest places, including Chicago. This is the largest group I’ve ever heard of.

But the people doing the reporting caught my eye: Myron Bontreger, Perry Miller, Dave Schwartz and Dan Stoltzfus.

Were these guys the famous Amish birders from northern Indiana? Then I reread how the reports were coming via phone, and I doubt it.

I first met the Amish birders in southern Michigan some years ago when a friend dragged me to see sandhill cranes. It was something to see them pile out of a rented van and join the rest scoping the sandhills.

Apparently, they are well known and respected in the Michiana area. There is a universal appeal in wondering what is out there.

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