Tag Archives: julie zickefoose

Help Stop The Sandhill Crane Hunting Proposal, and Save Some Whooping Cranes Along With Them

Urged on by “sportsmen,” the states of Wisconsin, Tennessee and Kentucky are considering open hunting seasons on Eastern Sandhill Cranes.

Now Sandhills aren’t especially good to eat, they’re not very interesting targets (they’re too big to miss unless you’re completely incompetent with a shotgun) and there are only 60,000 of them, up from only a few dozen breeding pairs in the 1930’s, at which time there was at least an excuse for hunting them  — to feed depression-era families.

Photo: Jim Rickards

So, no good reason to hunt Sandhills.  And of course we all know that there are only about 400 Whooping Cranes left alive in the world, and no good sportsman would ever shoot one of them, would he?  Except four were killed last year by hunters: 1% of the world population gone, three of them at the same time.

The trouble is, it’s pretty hard for an expert birder like my friend Julie Zickefoose to tell the difference between a Sandhill and a whooper under less than optimum conditions, and she doesn’t sit in blinds at dawn or dusk, pumped up with adrenaline and dying to kill something.  And guess what?  Sandhill and Whooping Cranes flock together and migrate in the same flocks.  So…  How many of those Whooping Cranes — the most endangered birds in North America — are likely to get killed by hunters shooting in the less-than-perfect conditions in which birds are hunted?

You betcha!

Read Julie’s article in 10,000 Birds, then sign the petition to ban hunting cranes nationwide.  You can find the link in Julie’s post.  This plan is senseless, unnecessary, and gratuitous.

What We Did At The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival

Michele and I had one of the nicest weekends we’ve spent in years, and I’d like to tell you about it.

For a couple of years I’ve been friends with Julie Zickefoose, writer, artist, NPR commentator, and well-known birder. Julie’s husband, Bill Thompson III, is editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest, and both he and Julie lead birding trips all over the world.


When Julie mentioned that she would be in Titusville, FL, for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, my conversation with Shel was like, Me: “Honey, Julie and the kids are going to be at the birding festival in Titusville. Want to go?” Her: “Sure!” Reservations for a room, the festival, Julie’s keynote talk, and a nature walk on which she and her son were co-leaders ensued rapidly — like within minutes — and arrangements were made to hook up with Julie, her daughter Phoebe and son Liam at the festival.

On Friday, Shel and I hopped in the Hyundai and I-95’d northward. Continue reading

Tennessee “Sportsmen” Want To Hunt Sandhill Cranes

My friend Julie Zickefoose has an article on the 10,000 Birds website detailing the stupidity of this matter.  I agree with her 100%, so I”m not going to re-invent the wheel here.

Read Julie’s article, then write to the folks in Tennessee who have a say about it.  Talk about how much it will cost them in loss of revenue from the crane festival, and the ignorance of the folks who set up the feeding program to start with.  Give ’em hell. Real sportsmen hunt Snipe.  Hunting cranes is about as sporting as shooting elephants with antitank rockets.