The Cranes! The Cranes!

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, February 20, 1998

Go with me? Thousands of Sandhill Cranes have found it and we will too. That's the Blythe Ferry/Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, one of the most important migration stopovers in North America for these unique and lovely birds.

This weekend members of the Tennessee Orinthological Society are hauling telescopes to the Refuge for a good look-see, which they will share with us. Great programs are being staged at Birchwood School, and shuttle bus transportation will be offered back and forth between the sites. It's prime-time for viewing the Sandhill Cranes.

Sixty years ago the Cranes were almost extinct, so it's thrilling to watch them flying, feeding and surviving. It's estimated 30,000 are alive today. Dr Richard Urbanek of the US Fish and Wildlife Service will be telling the remarkable story of their comeback at 10:25 am Saturday; he's visiting from Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan.

The Birchwood area is interesting to visit anytime, if you are familiar with its archaeology and history. And if you're not, sit in on more of the Saturday lectures by noted archaeologists, historians, and naturalists. Take a tour of Cherokee landmarks with Vicki Rozema, author of "Footsteps of the Cherokees." Learn the status of the Cherokee Indian Memorial and the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

The speakers, displays, music, food, and shuttle service are Saturday only; Sandhill Crane viewing takes place Sunday too. See you there.

Blythe Ferry/Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, Birchwood, Tennessee
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