Introduction To Sandhill Cranes Is Topic For TWRA's February Noontime Program

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Cranes 101: A Basic Introduction to Cranes" is the February topic for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Nature at Noontime program. The program will be held from noon-1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Melinda Welton will be the program presenter. She is a research associate with Gulf Coast Bird Observatory and an ornithological consultant under the name of Birdworks Consulting. She has been actively involved in several TWRA projects concerning songbirds and for the last two years, she has also served as co-chairwoman of the Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.

Standing over four feet tall with a wingspan of more than six feet, the sandhill crane is one of the largest birds found in Tennessee and the most abundant crane in the world. Over the last 60 years, the sandhill has made a comeback after being nearly wiped out in the 1800s due to breeding habitat loss and over hunting. Virtually every individual in the smaller eastern population of sandhill cranes will pass over or spend the winter at the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee rivers in southeastern Tennessee. Thousands of these birds can be viewed each winter at TWRA’s Hiwassee Refuge.

Hosted by the Information and Education Division, Nature at Noontime is held the first Thursday of each month. TWRA Nature at Noontime presentations are about natural resource related topics and last about 30-45 minutes, allowing time for discussion during the allotted lunch hour. 

Contact Don King 615 781-6502 or by e-mail: for more information.

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