Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sandhill Cranes on the Move

Kentucky's first Sandhill Crane hunting season ended on January 15th with 50 birds being taken.  Kentucky is the first state in the eastern United States to allow hunting of Sandhill Cranes since their near decimation in in the 19th and 20th centuries.  A limit of 400 was set at the beginning of the season and the majority of birds were taken in Hardin and Barren counties.  A ban was put on Sandhill Crane hunting in 1916 because the population was getting so low.  Today they have mostly recovered and are increasing in numbers, though many still have concerns over their being hunted.

Sandhill Cranes

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife said the Sandhill Crane hunt was necessitated because the birds were becoming a nuisance feeding on farmer's crops.  Many citizens objected to the need to hunt Sandhill Cranes and formed the KY Coalition for Sandhill Cranes.  The Coalition lobbied KYDFW to forgo the hunting season but we unsuccessful and the season went forward.  Now that it is over, KYDFW will review the season and decide whether to do it again in 2012. 

Sandhill Cranes

With season is over, Sandhills are beginning to congregate in fields again in Cecilia in Hardin county.  Last year several thousand birds roosted in fields in Cecilia as they migrated through our state.  These birds were photographed yesterday as they were flying over Louisville.  Hopefully they will stick around a while and let everyone get up close views of these amazing prehistoric birds before they migrate north.

7 comments:

Robert Mortensen said...

Thanks for commenting at BirdingIsFun.com. I have added this blog to The Big Birding Blog List there and look forward to following your posts.

Dan Huber said...

very nice post and photos. I have yet to see the Sandhill Cranes personally but hope to soon. Hopefully the hunt will be banned the coming year.

Ryan Ankeny said...

Thanks Robert and Dan! I too hope they call of the hunt because the birds have become much more wary since it began.

Karen Bonsell said...

Great post & pics Ryan! On Monday, I saw 3 large groups of Sandhills at different times, heading north! I guess with the mild weather, they are going back early.

Mia McPherson said...

I hope that somehow the Sandhill Crane hunts can be stopped in every state Ryan. They are such beautiful creatures

Keri said...

Hi there! I'm a homeschooler here in Louisville, and one of my goals is to include more nature study in our schoolwork. This is an excellent blog - I'm very excited to have found it, and I have no doubt that it will be both inspiring and educational for me going forward!

We're going to begin a bird study next week, and although I'm somewhat familiar with the common species in our area, I'll definitely be mining this site for some guidance and information. Thank you in advance!

Ryan Ankeny said...

Thanks Keri for the kind words.

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