Sandhill Cranes in the delta… whenever I explore, I like to let my imagination roam. I like to think about time and space in a number of ways. I like to see areas I grew up in with a different perspective. How unreal it would have been to see the San Francisco Bay Area just a couple hundred years ago - all sorts of beautiful oak hills, and redwood forests, freshwater streams and pristine wetlands. Wildlife of your wildest dreams like tule elk, bears, beaver, sea otter, pronghorn sheep and wolves to name a few. “The bay of all bays” as it was described by Spanish explorers when they came upon it, full of millions of resident and migrating birds. The call of Sandhill Cranes must have been indescribable, their ancient chorus filling the sky and the ears of Ohlone, Costanoan, Yokuts and Miwok peoples for countless generations… Can we not use our sophisticated brains and understandings, our technology and know how to rewild the areas that can be restored, protect the ones still standing, and have a conversation about what true California gold looks like?
“In California, the breeding population was reduced to fewer than five pairs by the 1940s. Fortunately, all populations of Greater Sandhill Cranes have increased since the 1940s, and in 2000 an estimated 465 pairs were breeding in California. Nonetheless, much of their historic range remains vacant and the population remains far below historic numbers… California in particular is special in that it supports the Central Valley population of Greater Sandhill Cranes that winters in suitable agricultural fields and wetlands” nevertheless the population remains low with recovery “hindered by the lack of directed conservation, despite the potential for habitat restoration and farmland management that could greatly benefit” this species… some words from @audubonsociety