Tom's Blog

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sandhill cranes nesting?

Our wetland is part of a larger complex that extends up and down East Blue Mounds Creek and various side creeks, such as Pleasant Valley Creek, Ryan Creek, and Elvers Creek. For the Driftless Area it is a fairly large wetland. Even the immediate part that our property connects with is about 150 acres.

When we first were here (1980-1983) there were no sandhill cranes at all, and we first started to hear them about 1985. Since then they have increased substantially. We had confirmed nesting (visible nest) on our property in 2005 and since then they have been nesting (babies seen) somewhere in the wetland complex every year.

We are fairly certain we have a nest this year, and Kathie and Amanda have been clicking away with their cameras. Kathie's photo here, taken two days ago, found the cranes close to our cabin, in an wetland area that we had burned on March 13. Note how lush the vegetation is. Most of those plants are probably glade mallow (Napaea dioica), which is having a banner year.

One reason why the cranes are nesting in our part of the wetland this year might be because we have been finally been able to put a damper on beaver activity. For the past several years a lot of our wetland has been flooded, but this year an intrepid volunteer trapper has been able to reduce the population and remove the key dam. We can now walk again through the sedge meadow.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home