Croaking, Rolling Trumpets and Rattling (or Bonus Wild Wednesday 3-12-08)

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I call it croaking. The more sophisticated folks at Cornell Lab of Ornithology in “All About Birds” describe the sound of sandhill cranes as “a deep, rolling trumpet and rattling.” Decide for yourself.

Either way, the distinctive sound of sandhills are all over the Chicago area today as a massive migration is underway.

I made my kids identify the sound after school, then showed them a couple dozen riding thermals.

Long-time reader Joe was the first to e-mail: “The Sand Hills are flying over Wheaton . . . and it is a lovely sound!”

Bob Mikol followed shortly with this note: “Massive migration passing over Darien, IL. Est. near 3,000+ birds. Awesome to watch them catch the thermals and move on.”

Watch the sky and enjoy.

Changes are coming, as Joe sent in a follow-up note: “Almost as good as the Peepers, which soon will be heard at the Arboretum.”

Soon enough, soon enough, all kinds of sights and sounds are coming. Long overdue this year.

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