The Sandhill Crane – Whitewater Urban Forestry Commission’s Bird of the Year.

Renowned conservationist and Wisconsin native Aldo Leopold was certain they’d face extinction, just as the Passenger Pigeon, but Sandhill Cranes have made a remarkable recovery!  One of only two cranes native to the U.S.,  Sandhill Crane are making their magnificent migration back to their summer breeding grounds in Wisconsin.  Look for them in and around wetlands, or in agricultural fields.  They’re easy to identify, as they tower at nearly 5 feet!  In the air, their long legs are stretched straight behind them, and their necks are “craned” out.  Have you heard them?  Their call is unmistakable.  Have a listen!

Sadly, Leopold died before he could witness their amazing recovery, but keeping this ancient bird around will take a commitment to conserving their wetland habitat.  To learn more about the Sandhill Crane, you can visit the National Audubon Society or the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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