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Our friend George has had Sandhill Cranes nesting on his property for years. The recent expansion of a US Highway that runs in front of his house caused much concern as spring approached – would the cranes return to their favorite neighborhood and raise chicks again this year? So far, so good…

Before nesting, Sandhill Cranes engage in feather painting, using mud from the nest site to paint their feathers. This helps them blend into their surroundings and they can be nearly invisible when sitting on the nest. This talent, along with protection and restoration of wetlands in Wisconsin has resulted in a healthy recovery for the species today. In the 1940s there were only about 15-20 pairs of the cranes in the state. Today, the population is believed to be around 15,000.

Photos ©2018 by Ted Thousand – all rights reserved