The first few times I saw Sandhill Cranes, they were wandering around in baseball fields and parking lots at regional parks, and I couldn’t help but think they looked like gangly, long-necked umpires with little red caps!Only when I discovered them in preserves like this one, could I see their true beauty! Sandhill Cranes feed in agricultural fields, prairies, and shallow marshy areas. They are omnivores and their diet may include “berries, tubers, small vertebrates, and invertebrates. Nonmigratory populations eat adult and larval insects, snails, reptiles, amphibians, nestling birds, small mammals, seeds, and berries.” (All About Birds)This bottom photo was taken two months after the ones at the top of this post. Sadly, though they had chicks several weeks ago, I was told by a regular visitor that neither of the young cranes survived.
My timing wasn’t right to capture photos of the Sandhill Crane‘s graceful and energetic courtship displays, but you can watch that here 😉 Sandhill Crane Dance!