Sandhill Cranes Arrive Early

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Today I saw the first flock of Sandhill Cranes arrive at Anderson Farm and thought, they’re early. So I checked my daybooks for the past few years and discovered I was right–they were about ten days early as compared to the last two years.

2013: October 6
2014: October 11
2015: October 8
2016: October 10
2017: October 10

1024px-Sandhill_Crane-27527-2What could be causing this? Janice M. Hughes, author of The Migration of Birds, writes: “Even small changes in the global climate can affect the timing of migration and the routes and destinations chosen by the birds. Human-induced climate change is creating shifts in migration timing and the distribution and abundance of resources available to migrants.” The Sandhill Cranes migrate here from Idaho triggered by temperatures and the shorter length of daylight hours. But whenever they arrive, we like them as they are a part of the change in the seasons.