Few fish can rival the longevity or storied ancestry of shortnose sturgeon, a primitive animal that can live up to seven decades or more, and whose ancestors literally swam with the dinosaurs. “Recently, paleontologists found a fossil record, showing remnants of a mass dinosaur killing, and there were sturgeon and paddle fish carcasses, stacked together,” Micah Kieffer, a fisheries research biologist said.
In countless numbers they assemble in the sky, in the quickening September dusk, to perform a swirling synchronized ballet. It is mesmerizing and indescribable; words cannot prepare the viewer.
Their insistent “KEE-aah” has woken us up at daybreak as they screech across the hayfield trying to scare up breakfast. They’re noisy neighbors, our resident pair of red-shouldered hawks.