Rare to Carolinas, Sandhill Crane bird found on I-85 - myfoxcarolinas.com

Rare to Carolinas, Sandhill Crane bird found on I-85

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A rare-to-the-Carolinas, Sandhill Crane bird was found searching for food on I-85 yesterday.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, successfully brought the bird to safety.

"He was standing in the road begging for food," CWR's Jennifer Gordon said. "So we decided to pick him up."

Sandhill Cranes typically live in freshwater wetland areas.

Gordon said it's a difficult task to rescue a bird, but this one was so weak from malnourishment, that he put up little struggle.

"He just seemed like he hadn't had enough to eat for a couple days," Gordon said. "...he would try to get up in the air and fly away and he would just drop down after a couple of feet."

Gordon believes the bird was brought to the Carolinas due to weather conditions. In the past 15 years of rescuing thousands of birds (approximately 2,000 each year) she says she has only seen one other Sandhill Crane in the Carolinas -- and this was the first in Charlotte.

"I think with all the storms and coming through with the tornadoes they could have been trying to stay in front of a storm or they could have gotten caught up in one of the sails or the thermals and kind of gotten pushed out of the way," Gordon said.

Gordon adds that the bird was not alone. A mate was spotted but has yet to be rescued.

"He's been calling and calling and calling -- he's definitely got a mate somewhere that he's looking for," Gordon said.

CWR plans on keeping the bird for about a week while they continue the search for his mate. They say if the rescued bird has any problems they will take him down south (possibly Georgia) and release him to a new flock of Sandhill Cranes.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of the missing Sandhill Crane, you can contact CWR at (704) 668-9486.


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