Each fall the sandhill cranes gather together in a prelude to their fall migration south. Large numbers of cranes spend their days eating and building up energy in the fields that surround Crex Meadows in Wisconsin. As the sun begins to set they fly back to Crex, often in large waves of birds that remind me of pictures and movies that I have seen of bombing campaigns during WWII. They will spend the night with their toes immersed in the muddy bottoms of the shallow pools. The water serves as both an alarm and deterrent to predators that may try and sneak up on them in the night. When the sun rises the next morning the cranes will leave in waves again, like wheat, back into the fields to eat.