Thursday, December 31, 2009

Defiant Sandhill Cranes

This morning while birding in Manatee County I drove by one of the seemingly endless golf courses that mar the landscape in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. This one was along Whitfield Boulevard in the Palm Aire development.

As I drove by one of the greens (the place with really short grass where they try to put the ball in the hole - think that's called a green) I saw four golfers standing around with golf balls at their feet. In the middle of the green, between the golfers and the hole stood a pair of Sandhill Cranes defiantly refusing to move from what they considered "their" piece of ground.

Incensed that the birds weren't moving out of their way one of the golfers raised his club and started yelling at the cranes (it would have been so much fun to tackle this jerk and pin him to the ground had he actually struck a crane). Apparently nobody had informed the human that cranes don't speak English. Regardless he kept yelling at the cranes who refused to budge.

Finally after maybe a minute of this nonsense the cranes started bugling at the humans. It was if they were saying "fuck you jerks, we were here first" in their own crane language. They refused to cede any ground and remained defiant. I continued to watch and finally the humans gave up, got on their golf carts, and darted away. The cranes remained on the green as the humans retreated.

Good for them! Too bad there hadn't been an armada of defiant Sandhill Cranes around when the developers were sacrificing one more piece of wild Florida for another needless golf course. I wonder if this defiance is being passed on genetically to each of the colt's this pair produces. Hope so.

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