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That "weird cackling" Al heard is to me the epitome of wildness.  If I were to vote on the 10 most wonderful sounds, the "gruuu, gruuu, gruuuu" of the Sandhill Crane would top that list.  

The Crane genus "Grus" is onomatopoetic, perhaps as a tribute to this wonderful, haunting sound.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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On Nov 23, 2011, at 6:59 PM, Al and Lois Smith wrote:

> A CORE crew stopped by on their way home and Ben mentioned that they thought
> they saw and heard a Sandhill Crane.  Minutes later as I was scoping the
> gull raft out in Ellis Bay I heard a weird cackling sound across the street.
> Quickly glassing Dragonfly Marsh I spotted the Sandhill on the opposite
> shore. Not much light left.
> http://www.photosbyat.com/photos/1599911615_36cd9TQ-XL.jpg
> 
> Four Surf Scoters just above rock jetty at edge of dam.
> video http://smu.gs/tvWw0i
> 
> Four Black Scoters still above Clark Bridge. Lesser Black-backed Gull in
> Ellis Bay gull raft. Did not find the Long-tailed Duck.
> 
> Gallery - Just started processing so will be awhile before complete. Check
> back later.
> http://smu.gs/tvWw0i
> 
> Al Smith
> Bridgeton, St. Louis County
> http://www.photosbyat.com
> http://MoBirds.smugmug.com  (admin)
> Blog   http://blog.photosbyat.com/ 
> 
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