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We are lucky to live near the Aransas County Wildlife Refuge near Rockport TX. We have our winter Texans (Whooping Cranes) arrive every year in pairs or perhaps with juveniles. This year we have 505. Since Hurricane Harvey there are more blue crabs, a favorite food, and they are flourishing. The Sandhills go a little further inland and are often seen in farmers fields. 
I can see why they would have caused such excitement in Cather’s Nebraska. Majestic, large and mesmerizing  is the whooping crane. Down here they attract attention from all over the world. Cheryl Livingston 

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On Mar 25, 2019, at 11:50 AM, Kari Ronning <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Some of the relatively few whooping cranes left now migrate with their kin, the sandhill cranes. Cather, or her characters, were lucky to live when they could hear just the whooping crane’s voice.  

                Kari Ronning

 

From: 5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven Shively
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2019 10:35 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [5BANKSTREET] Sand Hill Cranes

 

Also a memorable mention of a whooping crane (sorry, not Sandhill, but perhaps relevant) in “The Enchanted Bluff”: “Suddenly we heard a scream above our fire, and jumped up to see a dark, slim bird floating southward far above us—a whooping crane, we knew by her cry and her long neck. We ran to the edge of the island, hoping we might see her alight, but she wavered southward along the rivercourse until we lost her.”

 

Steve Shively

 

From: 5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Melissa Homestead
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2019 9:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [5BANKSTREET] Sand Hill Cranes

 

Having been on a Cather-sandhill Cranes trip on Friday, I think I can say with authority that Ivar in O Pioneers is describing migrating cranes when he talks about his pond and specifically mentions cranes. A Rowe Sanctuary guide who heard that description read aloud said it was definitely on point for crane behavior, and sandhill cranes were the obvious species.

 

Best,

 

Melissa Homestead

 

From: "5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars" <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Robert Thacker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, March 25, 2019 at 10:14 AM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [5BANKSTREET] Sand Hill Cranes

 

A question from a friend: “Did Cather ever write about Sand Hill Cranes”? I can think of ducks, but not cranes.

 

Do tell. Thanks.

 

Bob

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Robert Thacker

Charles A. Dana Professor of Canadian Studies and English Emeritus

St. Lawrence University

Canton, New York 13617