JUST when I thought I'd be telling you that our crane count went down, it actually went UP! This morning our count was 6190! Daytime crane watching has actually improved, I think, over this past week - with more birds concentrating along the north side of CR 3, and along CR 70, quite close to roads, making them easier to observe.
We suspect several factors: We have their largest overnight roost site - St. Francis Pool - in drawdown this year, so there's room for more birds. Also, the weather has stayed fairly mild, and farmers have yet to finish harvesting corn, so food remains abundant.
However, the 9-day deer/gun season starts on Saturday, so with hunters afield, it's very possible birds will find the commotion a reason to leave.
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