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!