This morning I opened the windows in the house to enjoy the beautiful sun and warm breeze. As I was straightening the bedroom and putting away laundry, I heard a familiar and unusual birdsong outside. “Strange,” I thought, “Sounds like cranes.” That seemed unlikely, however, and I thought I just had cranes on the mind after reading an email earlier this morning from my Mom describing the Sandhill Crane migration through central Nebraska near where she lives. I tried to categorize the sound as hungry seagulls screaming over food, or a couple of unruly crows. But I couldn’t shake that haunting and distinct sound, and I finally went to the window to investigate. It did look like cranes, and with the binoculars I was able to confirm that they were definitely cranes. On the Amalfi Coast! If you look at the photo above closely, you can see the flock as it was circling above Ravello.
With a bit of research online, it seems likely they were Eurasian Cranes, also called the Common Crane, which appear to migrate right across southern Italy. The map below, from the International Crane Foundation, shows the typical migration routes for this type of Crane.
I mentioned the haunting sound that cranes make. It is difficult to describe, sounding more like a frog than a bird. You can hear a Sandhill Crane here and you can watch the migration live through the Crane Cam on the Platte River in central Nebraska. Seeing the migration twice with my Mom is a memory I will never forget. The sound of hundreds of thousands of birds calling and taking off all at once took my breath away! I made a rather poor video this morning (the sun was too bright in my eyes), but you can hear the crane song if you turn your speakers up.
I watched them for about three or four minutes before they caught a wind draft and quickly disappeared. I am so happy I just happened to be in the bedroom with the window open for those few minutes!
Chef Chuck says
Hi Laura,How fortunate you were to catch this migration on video! And to top it off on a beautiful warm day! Grazie.
Ciao Chuck! I do feel lucky to have seen the cranes migrating. It was one of those moments when distance seems not to matter and I felt much closer to my Mom in Nebraska. I hope to see more! Sandhill cranes migration through Arizona. Have you ever seen any?
South of Rome says
V. nice! The only exotic birds I hear from my bedroom windows are the ragazzi driving by on their motorini!! But boy do they have colorful plumes!
Ciao Karen! That’s great! Some of those strange birds you mentioned migrate to the Amalfi Coast on their motorini during the weekends. You can always spot them by their colorful plumes! Thanks for making me laugh!!
Wow, how amazing. I didn’t know there were cranes around here, either. We had a lot of them in New Mexico, sometimes they would fill the fields after the harvest. Beautiful!
On another note, we will be coming to Amalfi this week, if you have time for a cappuccino, let me know!
Ciao Valerie! I love watching and listening to the cranes in the fields. My mom has been out doing that the past couple of weeks in Nebraska.
Yes, I definitely have time for a cappuccino! Most days this week should be fine for me. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know when you are heading up this way. Should be great weather most of the week! Right now it is lovely here and the tourists are only starting to arrive, so it is a great time to visit Amalfi. Warning though… the road to Positano will probably still be closed through this week. Just a heads up if you were wanting to go all the way down the coast as it is a bit complicated at the moment. Look forward to meeting you!
Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura says
They’ve been flying past my place (in Luxembourg) for the past three weeks. They announce Spring here. Maybe some got lost 🙂
Regarding the above comment, Positano News annouced that as of today there will be ferries Positano to Amalfi especially to help the students, so seawise, access will be viable.
Ciao Scintilla! Thanks for the update on the boats between Positano and Amalfi. Great news for the kids and for the workers that need to get back and forth!
What do you think of the sounds the cranes make? Maybe some did get lost! 🙂
Chef Chuck says
Hi Laura, I have not seen any as of yet, But I will be looking. Grazie!!
Such a beautiful post, Laura. I am hearing the same ancient sounds all around me here in Nebraska and thinking of you. Thanks for sharing this lovely and rare moment with everyone.
Laura Thayer says
It brings back so many happy memories with you, Mom!