High sandhill crane season is in full swing. We have had many reports of crane pairs returning but would love to hear about pairs that are now nesting. Send us a report at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 235-6262 to leave a report. Let us know when the pair began sitting on the nest (usually only one of the pair shows up at a time) and where you are located as well as your contact information.
Kachemak Crane Watch’s new video was shown at Shorebird Festival in May and is now available on Youtube. You can watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-catc2OLiU. Let us know what you think of the video. It will probably also be shown during the summer at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer if you want to see it on a big screen. Call them if you want to know when it will be shown.
Happy crane viewing! Be sure to let us know when you see colts!
In 2008, ten Sandhill Cranes were banded in the Homer area, part of a project in collaboration with the International Crane Foundation. The satellite and radio transmitters allowed researchers to track the local movements of these cranes here in Homer, on their migration back to California’s Central Valley near Sacramento, and around their wintering areas. This information is helping biologists protect critical areas for feeding and roosting in the fast developing Central Valley. Homer’s cranes are Lesser Sandhill Cranes which need roosting and feeding areas together within 6 miles of each other. Agricultural conversions to vineyards and orchards, subdivisions, and other development threaten these important feeding areas.
January 23, 2008, C016, was captured and marked at Staten Island, in the Sacramento Delta region of California. He was marked to help researcher, Gary Ivey, with his study of wintering ecology of sandhill cranes. C016 was spotted in Homer by one observer and subsequently showed up at Inspiration Ridge Preserve with three other cranes. They rested, fed, and preened until after 11 pm when they finally left for their night’s roost. Even though the batteries are now dead on these tracking device, we are still interested in the travels of these cranes. If you see banded cranes please report them to Kachemak Cranes Watch at email@example.com or call 235-6262 to leave your report.
If you have not yet reported to Kachemak Crane Watch about the nesting pair of Sandhill Cranes in your neighborhood, please send in a report so we can get a more solid number. So far, 20 pairs have been verified, with about 4 still unconfirmed.
If you have had a pair hanging around and now only one is showing up, then disappears, and then one shows up again, it probably means the pair is now nesting. Most Homer cranes lay their eggs in the first week of May. Let Kachemak Crane Watch know if you have a pair showing up one at a time. We would like to confirm nesting. Note the date so you will know in 30 days to be watching for colts.
Enjoy all the birds and the programs at the Shorebird Festival. See you out birding!