Howell Island 12/30/09 3:15 PM, overcast, 30 F: This afternoon "Grussy" (Grus 
canadensis) has dug at least 7 piles of soil and straw up in the field. I am 
observing this crane standing knee deep in material it has excavated with its beak. 
It appears to be eating as it goes farther down in to the soil, sometimes with only 
neck visible. Cranes are omniverous, and apparently this is common behavior as 
they forage in plowed fields not only for seed but also for amphibians. Although 
they may eat planted seed, they also remove a large amount of weed seed, so are 
beneficial in a sense. Hopefully, the pumpkin farmers are understanding.

Did see a few Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks.

Good birding all-

Linda Bobo

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: April 30-May 2. Cape Girardeau, MO