October 27, 2016

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

Of the 15 species of crane worldwide, Sandhill Crane is the most numerous and it makes an annual fall appearance on the Chico in October where numbers are sometimes high.  A smallish flock (55) flew over Rose Pond this afternoon on their way south to as far as Mexico.  The larger Greater Sandhill Crane  breeds in northwest Colorado but this smaller Lesser Sandhill Crane is the one we most often encounter on the Chico. Some Sandhill Cranes breed in Siberia, move over open ocean of the Bering Sea and migrate south into California or into New Mexico, Texas or Mexico.  If you are outside during their flights, their calls are unmistakable and without a doubt one of the coolest sounds in nature.