As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

First Confirmed Sighting Of Rare Whooping Cranes At Natchez Trace Parkway

National Park System sites are great places to enjoy watching wildlife, so it pays to be alert for unusual birds and animals during any park visit. Even the most avid bird-watcher would have been surprised, however, by sightings last month of three adult whooping cranes at the Natchez Trace Parkway.

It was the parkway's first confirmed sighting of the rare birds, which were feeding in a agricultural field drainage ditch along the northern part of the Parkway. Although that may sound like an unlikely spot for such an unusual bird,whooping cranes (Grus americana) are described as "aquatic birds, spending virtually all of the time in wetlands."

The cranes are certainly distinctive; the tallest birds in North America, adults stand about five feet tall and have bright white plumage and black wingtips which are visible when they fly. Whooping cranes take their name from their distinctive whooping call and are the rarest of the world's 15 crane species; they occur only in North America.

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