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Wrong-Way Bird Makes Tennessee History January 6, 2012
Asian hooded Crane
Chattanooga photographer Terry Larm took this photo of the wayward Asian hooded crane in Tennessee's Hiwassee Refuge on New Year's Day.
A rare Asian hooded crane apparently took a wrong turn during its migration, winding up on the other side of the world in a wildlife refuge in southeastern Tennessee.

About 8,000 of the species normally winter on the Japanese island of Kyushu, which is home to approximately 80 percent of the world’s wintering population.

Experts believe the crane managed to get to the Hiwassee Refuge, northeast of Chattanooga, on its own rather than escaping from captivity in North America.

The bird’s unprecedented appearance at the refuge has drawn hundreds of birdwatchers who are also busy observing 5,400 of the more typical sandhill and whooping cranes that are wintering there.

The Tennessee Ornithological Society says this is the first time that three species of cranes have been seen together east of the Mississippi River.

Photos: Terry Larm - Flickr