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Backpacker Magazine – Online Only
Only in 400,000 acres of wet backcountry will you find the oldest bird
A Sandhill Crane's bugle, a rattling krrrrrr, sounds like an echo from an ancient era, before the Pleistocene. Turns out it is. Six-million-year-old fossils establish them as the oldest still living bird species on the planet. Nearly a thousand Sandhill Cranes winter in the Okefenokee Swamp, where afternoon temperatures in the sixties are the rule. To see, and hear, these genetic survivors, as well as otters, alligators, and white ibis, paddle 10 cypress-lined miles to Floyd's Prairie from the Western Entrance, camping at Big Water Lake.
For permits, contact: (912) 496-7836, http://okefenokee.fws.gov