Wild things: Words on sandhill cranes around Chicago outdoors

SHARE Wild things: Words on sandhill cranes around Chicago outdoors

A dispatch arrived via the 10th Ward from John Vukmirovich, just as waves of sandhill cranes poured through Chicago outdoors on Friday in a widespread, impressive display.

This YouTube video was from a week earlier by Jasper-Pulaski FWA, southeast of Valparaiso, Ind., where I suspect many of the sandhills passing Chicago were headed.

But let me also give the simple, but wonderful words of Vukmirovich.

I was smiling simply seeing his subject line: “Sandhills over the 10th Ward”

And to the email, which made me smile even more, from Friday:

Yo, Bowman: This morning, at about 8:45, I was hoofing it north on Avenue L, bucking the heavy wind. At about 108th street, I heard that distinctive kroo. Two skeins of sandhills were flying high, about five hundred feet, just below the cloud cover. Each skein consisted of about seventy-five birds, with the first in an elongated V. The other skein was trying to hold together against the cold, swirling winds, but not doing a very good job of it. The second skein looked like Morse code blips against the lead-gray sky. Their message? Fall’s over, winter’s here. When I turned away, a blast from the north hit me in the face: message received. John Vukmirovich, professional sandhill crane spotter ….

Ah, I just smile.

Apparently I am becoming known for my love of watching sandhills.

Andy Mikos, the great Lake Michigan fishermen, was sending a note on brown trout in Wisconsin, but he led with these sentences this morning:

Just wanted to drop you a line about the sandhill crane migration over my house in Morton Grove last Friday. I know you have a special interest in passage of these birds through the Chicago area. On Friday the 23rd waves and waves of birds passed over my house. There was not a moment of the day from sun up until sundown that I could walk out of my house and not hear them. I found their flight pattern very interesting. It looked like they were constantly regrouping over head or maybe they were just being social as they casually rode that strong NW breeze south.

Andy Mikos

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