Eclectalife, Michigan — May 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

VIDEO: Sunday morning politics break – Red-Winged Blackbirds drive off Sandhill Cranes by working together


The power of tenacity and coordination

Anne and I like to recharge our mental and spiritual batteries by tossing our kayaks into our beater pick-up truck Steve and heading out to Pickerel Lake in the Pinckney State Recreation Area. It’s actually on a chain of three lakes that includes Crooked Lake, all connected by shallow channels.

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The wildlife on these lakes is abundant and, especially in kayaks, you can get startling close to the animals. For example, here is a mother Sandhill Crane sitting on her nest:

On Friday night, we whipped up a batch of margaritas and headed out for a sunset booze cruise. While we were paddling, we came across something I’ve never seen before: two Red-Winged Blackbirds systematically attacking and driving off two adult Sandhill Cranes who had strayed too close to their nest. Anne shot this video:

What you can’t see in the video is that the two cranes had a baby with them (craneling? cranelet?). You can the little one in this series of photos that Anne took with her iPhone which also shows the Red-Winged Blackbirds in action:

The audacity and brazen attitude of the Red-Wing Blackbirds defending their nest is a nice metaphor for those of us fighting against the well-financed corporatists that control our government at all levels these days, in my mind.

Last night, we headed back out with the kayaks and some more margaritas, this time with Anne’s camera on board. Below are a couple of more shots she took of the magnificent Sandhill Cranes. This one spent an inordinate amount of time digging around in the muck. Then it came up with something in its beak, probably a snail:

And here’s one of Anne in action: