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Date:   Sun, 18 Dec 2011 23:13:36 -0500
Reply-To:   Mark McShane <eagleeyed@BELLSOUTH.NET>
Sender:   Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:   Mark McShane <eagleeyed@BELLSOUTH.NET>
Subject:   Near Georgia - Hooded Crane - Hiwassee WR, Birchwood, TN - 12/17/11 - UPDATE

Hi All,

In the interest of especially international and southeastern US birding relations and general all-around good-birdedness here's an update on the Hooded Crane first reported last week from the previously and always famous Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, not NWR, near Birchwood TN, and less than 30 miles due north of Georgia!

HWR entrance GPS coordinates: N 35 23.376 W 84 59.444

The would-be American Birding Association (ABA) rarity Code 5 (Accidental) Hooded Crane, and possible first record for North America if first accepted, has been seen every day at the refuge so far since its discovery, including today!

Early Saturday morning Max Medley, George Parsley (both of Dalton GA), and I headed up to Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge to see the now famous Hooded Crane, provenance unknown, currently in residence there with hundreds and/or (more likely) thousands of Sandhill Cranes, and a few Whooping Cranes!

We arrived at first light and were not to be disappointed, we quickly and throughout the morning had all of the great and long looks at the adult Hooded Crane that we could ask for, although never closer than 200-300 yards. We also enjoyed seeing 4 Whooping Cranes at the refuge, one reddish brown and white/whitish juvenile bird and three adults (the adults far out on Hiwassee Island from the overlook at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park at Blythe Ferry). A 3-crane day in Tennessee!

I was able to get some phonescoped video of the Hooded Crane showing the red crown at times, quite a bit of preening and wing flapping, both from the front and the back of the bird, as well as some of the interaction between the Sandhill Cranes and the Hooded Crane.

The videos are up in the 121711 HOODED CRANE Hiwassee WR TN folder at:

If you need or want the free QuickTime Player from Apple, it's available at:

After Hiwassee WR, we had 32+ Common Goldeneye on Chickamauga Lake from Booker T. Washington State Park, and after Booker T. we were able to relocate the Tundra Swan at the Lake Ocoee flats at the east end of the lake east of Cleveland just before dark.

Another very enjoyable day of near Georgia birding in Tennessee, and it was great to see so many folks come out to see the Hooded Crane!


Also, a summary post has come out from TOS member Charles Murray regarding the weekend at Hiwassee WR, the post transcript from TN-Bird:

Subject: Hiwassee Visitors Saturday and Sunday From: Charles Murray <dro_1945 AT> Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 18:37:31 -0800 (PST)

Besides the hundreds or thousands (?) of sandhill cranes seen at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Meigs Co. near Birchwood on Saturday and Sunday, the hooded crane, 1 - 3 whooping cranes, 2 or more adult bald eagles, several species of ducks, and the occasional Northern harrier were seen. An approximate total of 203 people from 8 states and Ecuador were there at some time during the 9.25 hours that were monitored by TOS members! The hooded crane was still present at HWR as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Charles Murray Birchwood, TN


Follow the Hooded Crane news at TN-Bird on Birdingonthe.Net: - or - at TN-Bird itself:


Good Birding All!


Mark McShane Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

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