Illustrator Christina Mattison Ebert shares depictions and information on coastal birds
If you’ve spent any significant amount of time on the upper Texas coast, you know there’s a distinctive trumpeting call signaling the arrival of November and that call belongs to the sandhill crane, a sizable soaring bird that winters here for several months.
Here, sandhill cranes gather in small flocks in fields, pastures and wetlands to forage for food. Even from a distance, they often are easy to spot, standing at about 5 feet in height with a distinctive red crown and drooping tail feathers. Sandhill cranes boast wingspans up to 7 feet.
FUN FACT: In early spring on Nebraska’s Platte River, a tremendous exhibition of North American natural life occurs — up to half a million sandhill cranes (about 80 percent of the global population) gather along the river as a pit stop during their migration north.