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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A sad loss :(

Do you remember last week when I posted about meeting Stumpy and Crossbill, the endangered Mississippi sandhill cranes?  Well, today we learned that Stumpy (whose name was actually Peg) had died.  When there are only 112 of a species left on this earth, the loss of one of them is very sad indeed.  Peg was the ten year old female crane that had been born without any toes (foot) on her right leg.  These cranes often live to twenty years of age, and though she never found a mate, Peg was often found associating with a mated pair.

 

A local land owner, that actually named her Peg, has been watching over her for ten years.  She regularly frequented his cow pasture to feed.  He noted that her calls sounded different than normal the last week or so, and was concerned when he hadn’t seen her for a couple of days.  So, he got worried and decided to walk his pasture looking for her.  He found her body, and notified the refuge.  Her body has been sent away to determine the cause of death.  The landowner thinks she may have been poisoned, and feels he knows who did it.  I hope he is wrong.  It was a challenging life for Peg, and I don’t want to believe that someone did this on purpose.  I applaud the landowner for taking such an interest in helping to preserve this endangered species.  That’s where it is important, you know, at the grass roots level!

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A short distance from the RV pads is a building known as the bunkhouse.  This is where volunteers can do their laundry, and the interns are housed.  The bunkhouse is only a year old, and is really a nice facility.  If we were to ever have a potluck, this is where it would happen, I’m thinking.

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When the bunkhouse was built it included some landscaping in front.  As you can see, no one has taken care of this landscaping.  Since no staff here has figured out exactly what it is I’m supposed to do while I’m here, I volunteered to clean this area up.  I suggested cleaning the area out and replacing the messy plantings with gravel.  In my experience on various refuges, most interns are college students that have had their mother’s clean up after them, and really don’t give a crap about maintaining their living quarters, let alone the outside landscaping.  Hence my suggestion about the gravel.  Turns out the refuge manager agrees with me.  So, I finally have something to do until they get the protocol written for the bird surveys I’ll be doing.  I don’t mind working with a shovel and rake as long as it’s outside!  Sure beats sitting inside at a desk.  Smile

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Emma and I also patrolled the Dees nature trail again today, and found an abundance of Easter bluebirds singing away and working on establishing breeding territories.  They really weren’t interested in posing for me, however.

_MG_9221The early morning air was filled with birdsong today.  New birds seem to be arriving daily.  I’m also in charge of keeping the refuge bird feeders filled, and it was obvious to me this morning that some other critter has found them during the night.  They were all empty and knocked asunder this morning.  I’m guessing a marauding raccoon is the culprit, so I only partially filled them back up.

 

Thanks for stopping by…. talk to you later,  Judy

29 comments:

  1. It breaks my heart to hear about Peg's passing. So very sad.

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  2. So sorry to hear about Stumpy/Peg.

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  3. How sad about Peg. I sure hope that no one would deliberately poison her, that is so cruel. If they could poison a sweet old crane, what will they do next? I hope they get caught.

    The bunk house does look forlorn, but you will have it all spiffy in no time.

    Happy Tails and Trails, Penny, TX

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  4. That is indeed a sad loss. I hope she died of natural causes and not poisoning. I have been so appalled when I have heard of cranes being shot to keep them out of backyard ponds or golf courses. Some people!

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  5. how sad for poor Peg!..we can only hope that she didn't suffer!

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  6. That is so sad about Stumpy. Poor thing. I do not know how anyone can be mean to anything, human or animal.

    Did you get the email I sent you about the deaths of the whooping cranes? To think that someone would intentionally kill any of these endangered animals is unbelievable.

    Glad that you have a project to keep you busy. That looks like a nice facility. Hope the interns treat it well.

    Stay safe...

    Kerri in AL :-)

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  7. So sorry to hear about Peg. Sure hope they find the cause and if she was poisoned that they find the culprit.

    Schedules...that is what we are working on now. Need to get used to working 8 to 5 again with an hour for lunch. It is pretty relaxed around here at the park but I need to get myself on a schedule...so hard but necessary to do.

    Hope the mosquitos don't bite too hard there.

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  8. Bittersweet post~ Sad that Peg died but encouraged that the landowner cared enough to keep an eye on things and that he had the discernment to know her calls were different.
    Kathy

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  9. Sorry to hear about Peg and pray she wasn't poisoned but passed naturally. Can't wait to see how you spiff up the outside of the bunk house. There's nothing like the melodious sound of song birds -- enjoy.

    God bless you for what you do.

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  10. I can't believe someone would poison the birds. Do they do any damage?

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  11. How very very sad. If she was poisoned, I hope there can be some punishment for the person who did it. I will never understand the cruelty people can inflict on birds or animals. All they do is bring joy and beauty to this old earth of ours. And you will be bringing beauty to the landscaping. Be sure to take pictures for us.

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  12. There is a lot of low life out there on the prowl & not all of them are in the cities. I have very harsh & deliberate feelings about anyone who would ever harm an animal!!

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  13. Very sad news about Peg. It's hard to believe anyone would use poison.

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  14. You sure have college kids figured out!

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  15. Sad news about Peg, I certainly hope that her death wasn't deliberate.

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  16. You just introduced us all to Stumpy Peg, and now she is gone. How sad to think that she might have been deliberately poisoned.

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  17. I sure hope it wasn't deliberate poisoning, and if it was, that the perpetrator is punished for his deed.

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  18. I'm sorry to hear about Stumpy, I hope she wasn't poisoned. What kind of a person would do that. Good luck with the clean up. Maybe a few big rocks to break up the monotony would be helpful. I am the most happy about arrival of new birds every day. That can only mean in a few months they will be migrating north. Yeah Spring. Have a interesting, fun filled day!

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  19. Why the heck would anyone poison Stumpy..It isn't like she was eating their dogs or anything like that...We had a kitten poisoned once, never found out who did it...When ANYONE mistreats an animal of any kind, it says a lot about what kind of person they are...frightening....and a sociopath. Now, at least, Stumpy has all her toes and walks proudly among other heavenly angels.

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  20. I'm so sad to hear of Pegs' death and hope there is no connection to a human. I just can;t stomach the thought of that!

    Something tells me you will have this place whipped into shape in no time!

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  21. I have learned so much from you, Judy. I never knew a thing about the Mississippi cranes, and many other tidbits you have passed along to us. Very sad to hear about Peg's death. I hope you find out the truth and that it doesn't include purposeful poisoning.

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  22. So sorry to hear about Peg. The bird feeders being raided are sad too. I guess the racoons don't know they are not for them though.

    We are going to be in Gaultier, MS. on the 11th and 12th. Please let me know if we can get together for a visit. I have sent you a couple of emails about this, but I am guessing you didn't get them...

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  23. So sorry to hear about Peg. It is so sad that anyone would intentionally hurt this bird. :(

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  24. Sad to hear about Stumpy. I hope we get the chance to see these birds in our travels. Thanks for the information on them.

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  25. Sad news indeed. I hope we get the chance to see these birds during our travels. I love Sand hills and would love to see this variety.

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  26. That is sad about Peg,I hope she was not poisoned.

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  27. That is a sad loss of a endangered animal. If she was poisoned, I can only hope they catch and punish those responsible.

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  28. Wow, what kind of a sick person would do that? Hopefully, what goes around will come around and that person will be punished in soem fitting way.

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  29. Great Peg story - thanks for sharing. Love your new header photo.

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