Today was fun. The drive from the hotel to Rowe Sanctuary to set up the Eagle Optics booth was beautiful. It was in the 40s and bright and sunny. The cranes were taking advantage of the thermals and soaring high in the sky and created what looked like crane tornadoes. Swarms of blackbirds were moving around the trees too, it's a regular bird rush hour. When you aren't in your car, sounds of spring are everywhere: cranes (of course), killdeer, bluebirds, western meadowlarks, blackbirds and geese, I feel so invigorated, especially since I got snow in Minneapolis and Madison this week.
The big excitement came today when an adult bald eagle took out one of the sandhill cranes right on the river in front of the viewing area at the sanctuary. The crane was probably injured to begin with, because a healthy sandhill is too much even for the most macho of eagles to take on. After the eagle finished off the crane, it started plucking the feathers. Something got its attention and it flew off. It wasn't gone ten minutes when a red-tailed hawk flew in and took advantage of the dead. It was pretty sweet.
Speaking of sweet, check out the shirts we are selling at Eagle Optics. The shrike was drawn by Julie Zickefoose. Even Cinnamon approves.