Hooded Crane in Tennessee
I'm sure this news is buzzing through the birdosphere already!
An adult Hooded Crane was found today among the wintering Sandhill Cranes at Hiwassee National Wildlife Refuge in east Tennessee. For those unfamiliar with the species, this is a bird of southeastern Siberia and elsewhere in the far east. It is endangered in the wild, and also kept in captivity in North America. Amazingly, this is the THIRD Hooded Crane sighting in the U.S. in recent years, after one in Idaho in 2010 and one in Nebraska in April of this year. Discussion will doubtless continue for a long time about the possibilities for wild versus escaped origin, the odds that the Tennessee bird could be the same as the Nebraska and/or Idaho birds, etc. But whatever its origins, this is a rare and beautiful sight, bringing the total of crane species currently residing at Hiwassee to three (though only one is presently ABA-countable).