Here’s something you don’t see very often: a Sandhill Crane flying over the city.
Sandhill Crane, South Glenmore Park, April 29, 2017. Photo by Max Ortiz Aguilar.
Sandhill Cranes can be seen in huge numbers on their northward migration if you go well east of the city on the prairies. Dan Arndt photographed huge flocks in the Castor area on April 4th. See his Flickr page here.These birds do nest in the Calgary area, near Bragg Creek and in the Water Valley area, so you can see a few in those areas even in mid-summer. But they are not often seen in Calgary.
Birds & Beers is an informal social get-together for any interested birders. The Calgary Chapter, organized by Dan Arndt and a few other local birders, usually meets once a month. The next meeting will be this Friday, April 28th. Details here.
Sandhill Cranes, east of Red Deer, April 4, 2017. Photo by Dan Arndt.
There is no cost or registration for Birds & Beers; just show up and have a drink or a meal if you want, and chat about birds. Of course, there are lots of new birds to talk about at this time of year. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. So drop by any time after 6 pm and join us.
Whooping Cranes are so rare that most of us have never seen one in the wild. But there is an opportunity to see captive ones right here in Calgary. The Calgary Zoo maintains a Whooping Crane breeding program at their Zoo Ranch facility just south of the city. On Saturday October 8, there will be a field trip to see these magnificent birds, as well as other rare birds and animals. Crane Keeper Dwight Knapik will guide the group on a tour of the facility and explain their breeding programs.
Whooping Crane pair. All photos from 2008.
There will be a limit of 25 participants accepted for this free trip, so if you have never been to the Zoo Ranch, you should take this opportunity. Call Gus Yaki at 403-243-2248 to register (the best time to reach him is between 6 and 7 pm). In the past this trip has always been fully booked.
Up close and personal with a Whooping Crane!
The group will meet at the Anderson LRT Station next to McLeod Trail, 109 Ave SW, south of the pedestrian overpass, at 1:30 pm to carpool to the site. (If it is raining the date may be changed to Sunday October 9.)
Are you looking at me?
Grevy’s Zebra. Unfortunately this animal has since passed away.