Flocks of cranes–and buzzards–arrive at wildlife refuge

January 22, 2007

One of the more stupendous wildlife sights in Tennessee is the annual flock of sandhill cranes that arrive every year at the 2,600 acre Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County between Knoxville and Chattanooga where the Hiwasee River joins the Tennessee River. This year, according to an article in today’s Knoxville News Sentinel, an estimated 15,000 cranes will be there for the Cherokee Heritage and Sandhill Crane Viewing Days festival, which takes place February 3-4. This year, some rare whooping cranes have joined this bird Bonnaroo, further delighting the festival-goers, 8,000 of whom attended the event in 2006.

Unfortunately, some buzzards may be inbound as well. The Nashville Tennessean contains an article describing plans to put a 600-acre housing development and a golf course adjacent to the Wildlife Refuge.

Michael Ross, president of one of the development companies, ironically named Rarity Communities, was quoted in the Tennessean as saying,”We actually don’t have as much land as we need to do what we want to do.”

They never do, do they?