Sandhill Cranes

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!IMG_0011Only when I discovered them in preserves like this one, could I see their true beauty! IMG_0018Sandhill 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)P1010668This 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!

Also watch this beautiful brief video from Cornell, and listen to this Bird Note episode to learn more.

23 thoughts on “Sandhill Cranes

  1. Beautiful job posting about this most unusual bird. It’s hard to take your eyes off the Sandhills once you begin watching. Thank you.

    • I was out of the country when fellow birders were posting pictures of the chicks last month. The woman who told me lives nearby and seemed to be a very regular observer of the Cranes’ behaviors and movements.

  2. I love your description of the Sandhill Crane at the baseball field, “gangly, long-neck umpires with little red caps,” I can see where you thought that.

    It’s unfortunate the chicks didn’t make it. I’ve seen Sandhill Cranes in subdivisions, along high-traffic highways. I cringe and hope they make it.

    Enjoyed the vedios, thanks BJ for sharing the link.Great photographs and blog, my friend.

    Connie

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