OLYMPIA, Wash. – Wildlife biologists are employing a little trickery to stop the downward spiral of a rare grassland bird in Western Washington. On Friday, biologists took eggs from healthier larks in Oregon and swapping them into western Washington nests, hoping the lark mothers don't notice.
Thousands of their fans will greet them, but the onlookers will be outnumbered by approximately 25,000 to 35,000 sandhill cranes making a stop in eastern Washington. The birds stand up to 4 feet tall, and stop in the Othello area every March at the Columbia National Wildlife refuge on their way to summer breeding grounds in Alaska.
For the past 14 years Othello has celebrated the rite of spring and welcomed birdwatchers with the annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival. The video below is from the festival's web site.