Flying over Hiwassee Island is always a treat because of the wildlife that populate the Island. But it is especially rewarding when we get a warm enough day in the winter to explore it from the air. Hiwassee Island is situated at the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers and shaped like an angel fish. It is also a refuge for deer, turkey, eagles, pelicans. I have photographed as many as 120 turkeys in one shot. In winter thousands of sandhill cranes and a few whooping cranes make it their winter home.
TVA lowers the lake levels by several feet in the winter and here the sandhill cranes take advantage of the muddy shore line to gather.
At four to five feet tall, the cranes are as large as the corn stalks in this ground level shot. Farmers and TWRA plant food crops near the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge area for the birds to eat.
Summer aerial view of the Hiwassee Island showing it's angel fish shape.
American pelicans (shot from ground level) float in large groups on the river in winter.
Books make great gifts! Some of these sandhill crane pictures, are in my Tennessee River book of aerials of the river.