The “New Guy” – Belated Introduction

Jeff Fox w young Sandhill 7-9-15 WhiteRMarsh1I’m the “New Guy”. Just smile, nod approvingly, and add it to the list of things to look up once everyone’s asleep… standard “new guy” protocol, right? But when asked to contribute to these regular updates I found myself at a bit of a loss.

Heather kindly pointed out that nodding approvingly and responding, “Yup,” wasn’t footing the bill. So, what to say? “Roost check (9/20/2015): All six cranes were responsive to visual and auditory stimuli. No signs of lethargy.

Eyes clear, nares clear, gape normal in color (i.e. the avian equivalent of our palate, easily visualized when feeding via the puppet), no audible signs of respiratory distress, gait normal (i.e. leg deformities and injuries are relatively common in cranes), and no signs of physical trauma.”  That must be as dull to read as it was to write.  Perhaps it’s best to begin by introducing myself?

I’m a pretty typical guy.  I think about sandwiches. I’m married. We have two cats. I enjoy tossing cat treats on the bed while my wife is sleeping and then ducking into the hallway to dodge the ensuing verbal shrapnel. Naps are always on the agenda. I find mushrooms off-putting – that they have tap roots innervating the bowels of hell itself remains a little known fact (“hyphae” if you want to get technical about it).

I consider decaffeinated coffee and non-alcoholic beer to be indicative of societal regression via technological innovation (ironic). The trunk of my car is packed with tools. The pipe wrench (a.k.a. “the problem solver”) is, of course, the most easily accessible. And I often think about sandwiches… so, yeah, I’m a pretty typical guy.

Then there’s the whole “crane thing”. I cannot get enough. It started with an internship in 2008 studying Sandhill Cranes and rapidly evolved into a near-obsession. Their charisma is addictive. I’ve since spent the preponderance of my time finding, capturing, marking, and tracking Sandhills throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. That is, until recently, when Operation Migration presented an opportunity to work with the Whooping Cranes. This was not an opportunity that one such as myself could resist.

And so, here I am. As a wise but fictional character once said, “…that’s all I have to say about that.”

Next time…”the pitot tube”…

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  1. Christy September 23, 2015 9:52 pm

    Welcome, Jeff!

  2. AintThatAmerica September 23, 2015 5:02 pm


  3. westendoldbird September 23, 2015 4:30 pm

    You already are making me laugh.
    Welcome to the flying crane team.

  4. Sallly Swanson September 23, 2015 2:47 pm

    Thank you, Jeff! Anyone that loves the cranes as much as you do has to be great. You fit right in with the rest of the OM crew and all the ‘craniacs”!


  5. Jill Morazzini September 23, 2015 1:12 pm

    Get this guy a sandwich 🙂

  6. Ann Gillis September 23, 2015 10:34 am

    Welcome……………You will meet many interesting and lovable birds and humans…………

  7. Ruth Mitchell September 23, 2015 9:52 am

    Welcome sounds like you are just crazy enough to fit right in!!! Looking forward to getting to know you better!!

  8. lilbirdz September 23, 2015 9:22 am

    Jeff, the highest compliment I can give you is that I think you fit right in with staff and crew of OM. They are dedicated and devoted to the WC’s. They have excellent organizational skills and manage to find their way through the hundreds of problems that arise (they have many “pipe wrenches”). They work miracles and manage to maintain a sense of humor through everything. Welcome to the world of Operation Migration, and I look forward to reading more from you. In the meantime, I’m sending you a Cyber Sandwich every day!

  9. Norma Brown September 23, 2015 8:58 am

    next the “pitot tube” ….. your version should be more fun to read than Wikipedia’s description….. bring it on!!

  10. LaraLeaf September 23, 2015 8:51 am

    … and sandwiches aren’t just for guys! This gal would live on them if it weren’t for her husband!!!

  11. LaraLeaf September 23, 2015 8:50 am

    Welcome aboard the crane train (trike?). I imagine doing this writing in the journal stuff is the least desirable chore, like an essay assignment, especially considering the number of people who will be reading it. No worries, you are already one of us! You already have the physical endurance and the experience and knowledge from working with cranes down. Now, you just have to get used to having two to three hundred pairs of eyes turned on you via The Beast from the time you clear that screen of shrubs coming up the trail to the runway until you go back behind it! We chatters love our tumes and fondly comment and tease about you all. We all hope you are enjoying being a part of this community as much as we love having you as one. It is ever a source of awe how dedicated the OM team is.

  12. Bonnie September 23, 2015 8:21 am

    What a Hoot (Whoop?) !! You’ll definitely fit right in!
    (But… no Duct Tape?)

  13. Sue McCurdy September 23, 2015 8:20 am

    Where’s your white dress Jeff?

  14. eugenia (aka CraneWatcher) September 23, 2015 6:51 am

    Great intro, Jeff. Somehow I think you will fit right in with the OM crew…

  15. Warrenwesternpa September 23, 2015 5:49 am

    The New Guy-Belated Information Jeff Fox

    Jeff , again I welcome you to whooper land and you sound normal to me. Sandwiches verses pumpkins … Pipe wrenches verses a huge beak … Teasing the wife and cat verses leading the opposition. Hmmm! Yes. All the correct qualifications I think, plus an enjoyable read. Thanks!

  16. Richard P. Chase September 23, 2015 5:38 am

    Welcome to the “World of Craniacs” Jeff. It isn’t often that one is able to join such a diverse group as this. Just think, at your next school reunion, you will be able to show pictures of yourself in a ‘tume costume to your fellow graduates. That will be special.

    Good sandwiches are the best “guy food” available.

  17. Richard P. Chase September 23, 2015 5:29 am

    and a hearty welcome to this very diverse group of people and Whooping Cranes Jeff. Only once in a lifetime does one get the chance to jump into something like this. I know you will do well and you will manage to keep your sanity.

    Sandwiches are definitely “guy” food! 😉