They've always been Bharatpur's most high-profile visitors. Guide Partap Singh, recalling the arrival of 41 Siberian cranes (Grus leucogeranus) in the mid-'80s, says: "Their call made me feel Krishna was playing the flute." Yet, after braving weather extremes on this 5,500-mile migratory route, these graceful cranes haven't arrived in KNP since '02. Habitat loss and hunting have decimated the central population of the cranes. But with help from hang glider Angelo D'Arrigo, the International Crane Foundation, ICF, can facilitate the birds' return. D'Arrigo will train young Sibes to follow his glider on short distances till they can sail the thermals, between Russia, and Iran and eventually Bharatpur. All range countries, including India, have signed an MoU for this species' conservation. "But unless KNP's water supply improves, we will have to find an alternative site," contends Gopi Sundar of the ICF. All that these winter visitors want is water and some Scirpus tuberosus (a tuber that grows in Bharatpur's marshes). That shouldn't be hard for a culture that believes in atithi devo bhava (guests are akin to God).