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Rare Asian Crane Ends Up In Tennessee

Posted 12/29/2011 9:19 am by

It’s one thing to get a little lost and make a wrong turn when traveling. You might end up having to backtrack a few exits or turn down a couple of extra streets to reach your intended destination. That may make you a little late, but try explaining how you ended up on the wrong continent.

Bird watchers in Tennessee are doing just that, trying to figure out how a rare Asian hooded crane made its way from the Land of the Rising Sun all the way to the Volunteer State. The organizers in charge of the Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival scheduled for the middle of January are just glad to have their unexpected guest stir interest and lure avid bird watchers. The rare bird has drawn people from as many as 26 states and two countries, including Russia, to the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge just outside Birchwood, Tennessee.

The Asian hooded crane isn’t the only bird having navigating issues lately. A flock of migratory birds crash landed in a Utah parking lot earlier this month after mistaking the snow-covered pavement for a lake, and an Emperor penguin ended up in New Zealand instead of Antarctica. A year ago, the memorial lights that pay tribute at Ground Zero in New York City mesmerized and disoriented a huge flock of birds.

These stories make me want to double-check my road map and update my GPS before my next trip.

Image by John Kuehnel

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