we have some new neighbors. a mating pair of sandhill cranes has moved into our cattails. and it looks like they plan to stay the summer. we are thrilled. we sit on the deck every night to watch them forage for the their last snack before nightfall. we call it crave tv, as in steve: “hey hon, what do you want to do tonight?”, me: “watch crane tv”. last night, our puggle jack decided to give chase to a red squirrel–a summer pastime of his. his quick movement and loud bark startled the female crane, and as she took flight to move down the yard away from him, she dropped this wing feather. it’s hard to get scale without another object to compare it to: this feather goes from the tips of my fingers to my elbow, and the shaft is the diameter of a pencil. it’s flexible yet stiff. self-healing. precise. in a word: perfect(ed).
sandhill crane wing feather (Antigone canadensis)