My grandparent's home was in the South Valley, right beneath the migration route for the Sandhill Cranes.  Twice a year, the cranes fly along the Rio Grande and we'd hear them calling to each other.  (That woke my dogs up.)  Our grandparents taught us to listen and pay attention when we heard their calls.  As soon as on of us heard them, the house would empty as we all would hurry outside to watch them fly on their way to winter in the Bosque or to spend the summer in Nebraska or further North.

Sandhills flying towards the Bosque.
Photo by Lauren Hurtgen.
Used with permission
  In the 1980's there was a failed attempt to raise endangered Whooping Cranes with the Sandhill population in the hopes that they would establish a new breeding colony.  During that time, we could easily spot the great white birds flying among the smaller Sandhills.  The Whooping Cranes imprinted on the Sandhills and never bred with others of their species as a result.

Lyn loves the cranes and still recognizes their calls.  The home she shares with Mom is no longer directly in their flight path but she'll still respond when she hears them.  She move to get the largest view of the sky and starts looking up.  She was delighted that she got to see several Sandhills when she and Mom visited the Bosque last month.  

Birds still engage her attention.  It doesn't matter if it is the little hummingbirds that peer in the windows after they chase off competitors, the noisy and greedy flocks of finches, the hawks, roadrunners or the cranes.  If she is aware of them, she'll watch and enjoy them.  She'll tell me about the hawk and if he's plucked his catch in their garden again.  It is pretty fun to watch her watch the birds.


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