[mou] report of crane at Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

dave dave at mcintoshemboss.com
Tue Oct 21 12:39:25 CDT 2008

My wife, a non birder, saw a large white wading bird in the shallow
water on the southwest shore of Lake Calhoun (adjacent to the Bakken
Library) this morning at approximately 9:30.  She described the bird as
significantly larger than the egrets which are summer residents, and
pure white "like a tundra swan" except for black feathers at the wing
edges.  One of the wings was hanging a bit oddly, giving easy glimpses
of the black feathers, and the bird was preening at lake's edge as a
group assembled on the running path.  The bird had red on the face and
head.. The bird was not skittish despite the group of morning runners
and joggers who stopped to watch it at close range.  A small group
assembled, struck by the bird's size and proximity to the walking path.
She described the bill as very large and straight, and the color of a
fawn.  She continued her run after spending about five minutes watching
She called me immediately after returning home since, after consulting
my bird guides, she thought the bird was identical to the picture of the
whooping crane.  I regret to say that the bird had left by the time she
returned with her camera, and I rode around the three city lakes at
11:15 but saw nothing.  Though my wife is not a birder, she is from
Nebraska where she saw Sandhill Cranes, and she has joined me
(passively) on birding walks for fifteen years, including annual trips
to see the Tundra swans on the lower Mississippi.
I have nothing else to verify this sighting, and however unlikely it
might seem, I offer it only so others might keep their eyes open.  
Dave McIntosh



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