174 pages, 6 photos, 16 illustrations
With Paul A. Johnsgard, we follow the migration of the sandhill cranes from the American Southwest to their Alaskan breeding grounds and back again, an annual pattern that has persisted over millions of years. By selecting four historic time frames of the migration between 1860 and 1980, Johnsgard illustrates how humans have influenced the flocks and how different American cultures have variously responded to the birds and perceived their value.
Each section focuses on the interactions between children of four different American cultures and sandhill cranes, triggered by events occurring during the annual life cycle of the cranes. The story is enriched by the author's exquisite illustrations, by Zuni prayers, and by Inuit and Pueblo legends. Originally published in 1986, this new edition features a new preface and afterword and a new gallery of photographs by the author, Those of the Gray Wind is a classic story of a timeless ritual that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
"This is a very special story, a classic of nature writing that combines the keen observance of the scientist with the sensitivity of the naturalist. The result is a timeless story of the American landscape, wild creatures, and man."
– Outdoor Press
"Sensitively written, scientifically accurate as to the bird's habits and instincts, and gracefully illustrated."
– Seattle Times
"One doesn't have to be a naturalist to find pleasure in this brief yet highly intriguing tale of a timeless ritual."
– Living Today
"Many scientists and historians have written about the natural history of the Great Plains, but few so compellingly as Paul Johnsgard."
– Annals of Iowa
North to the Flat Waters
Platte Valley Spring
The Tundra of Igiak Bay
The Roof of the Continent
Rendezvous at Horsehead Lake
The Valley of the Sacred River
The Staked Plains
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Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Regents Professor Emeritus in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has received conservation and research awards from the National Audubon Society, the American Ornithologists' Union, the National Wildlife Federation, and other state and national organizations. Johnsgard is the author of more than eighty books on natural history, including Sandhill and Whooping Cranes: Ancient Voices over America's Wetlands and Seasons of the Tallgrass Prairie: A Nebraska Year, both available in Bison Books editions.