It is late April and in Homer, Alaska, Sandhill Cranes are mating and preparing their nest for the season. By the first week of May they should have laid one or two eggs. Three Sandhill Cranes are nesting again this year in Beluga Slough, easily accessible on foot via the boardwalk below the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge’s Island and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer, AK.
Sandhill Cranes spent a great deal of time each day preening their feathers to get rid of parasites and to align their feathers for better flight and insulation. Enjoy this video with intimate views of cranes.
Kachemak Crane Watch is embarking on a new partnership with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies this summer. Late last fall, CACS’s Board of Directors voted to take KCW under the organization’s non-profit umbrella and begin a collaboration of citizen science, programs, tours, and more, all related to Sandhill Crane education and conservation. Very soon, KCW will launch a new website with a blog where these updates will be available to the public. You will also be able to subscribe to blog updates. Look for more information about all of this as the summer season begins.
The 2015 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival is May 8-10. KCW will be presenting its new video, “A Fledge for Freedom: A Young Lesser Sandhill Crane’s Quest for Flight.” A slide program by Nina Faust and the video will be shown on May 9 from 4-5 p.m. at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center’s theater. On Sunday, a slide talk by Nina Faust and the video, “Raising Kid Colt” is scheduled at 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.in the same location.
Our crane counts and nesting records depend on citizen participation. Please call Kachemak Crane Watch with your sightings of all Sandhill Cranes, but most especially of nesting pairs. We are very interested in continuing to gather information about where cranes are nesting, when they begin to sit on the nest, when young hatch, and if the pair successfully fledges their colts. If you have reported to us in the past, give us a call and let us know if last summer’s colts returned this spring with the parents.
Looking forward to hearing from everyone. Enjoy the cranes and summer!
Although you would not know it by the exceptionally nasty weather, spring is here. The first crane reports are trickling in, although they are of cranes passing overhead going across Cook Inlet to other nesting areas. April 4, a report of four flying west past Beluga Slough and then on April 16, two reports–seven passing Beluga Slough and 35-40 spiraling high over the Anchor River mouth have been called in. So far, no cranes have been reported on the groundin the Kachemak Bay area.
Welcome to the Kachemak Crane Watch Sandhill Crane “blog”. The blog will be an up-to-date happenings of for our local Sandhill Crane Population, with information about crane observations (including nesting and chick rearing), and specifically about the pair of Sandhill Cranes that breed and raise their young at Inspiration Ridge Preserve during their stay in the Homer area.
If you would like to be notified of when I post a blog, be sure to sign up to receive such notifications. Or you can subscribe to the blog. Please let me know what you think about the blog, including anything you would like added.
Nina Faust, Co-founder of Kachemak Crane Watch