only a few weeks ago, but these extraordinary birds will no doubt show up often on these pages. They are intriguing residents at the Merced Unit of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. There will be 20,000 of them here in a few weeks, and thousands have already arrived.
fossil record extending back at least fifty million years. Thirteen species are known today, with seven others that have gone extinct. The Sandhill has features that suggest that it most closely resembles the ancestors to all the cranes. There are six distinct subspecies, including the Lesser Sandhill Crane, which was the type we were seeing yesterday at the Merced Unit.