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Early Signs of Fall Migration at Crex

msslave · 26

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Offline msslave

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on: September 24, 2021, 06:06:20 PM
My visit to Crex Meadows in Wisconsin showed signs of the start of fall migration. Sandhill Cranes are starting to gather in groups now.  There's probably 600 to 700 "resident" cranes. Over the next few weeks thousands more will be arriving from their nesting areas, in preparation for the migration to warmer climes in the southeast US.  The refuge provides a safe place to roost at night, while the surrounding farm fields provide food as they bulk up for the flight of a few thousand miles.

Here's a family of four. The juveniles are the ones without the red skin on the top of their head. That will develop by next spring.



This may be the same family I saw earlier.



Another family group I saw was a brood of Trumpeter Swans.  The gray swans are the young from this springs hatch. By next spring they'll be white like mom and dad and their bills will turn a solid black.

 
Another sign of fall...the seed pods on the milkweed plants are bursting open, sending the fluffy white with attached seed floating through the air

Well trained and been made compliant....by our two cats.