A story related by Jo Michalski, who has a house in Homer, may explain how a flock of cranes came to be called a siege. Two visitors in the area were in the marsh below with their labrador retrievers off leash. The neighborhood crane pair flushed from the grass calling frantically in distress. Their very young colts were still hiding in the grass where the adults sprang into the air to escape the approaching dogs. Very quickly a big flock of Sandhill Cranes flew silently into the area and landed near the dogs. They marched straight at the dogs, both of which turned tail and ran back to their owners. They leashed them and quickly left the area. The colts were safe! This behavior seems akin to a siege. Kachemak Crane Watch’s Nina Faust and Edgar Bailey have reported watching a flock of cranes march after a coyote and chase it right out of the field. They also watched a flock march after a black bear and chase it down the field and into the woods. There is some logic to these very archaic terms but they are rarely used. Most people just call a group of cranes a flock!

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