Close encounter with the Sandhill Cranes

62EA9A28-21B3-4D03-92A5-5408A31E04BF_1_201_aWe always hoped to see the Sandhill Crane pair with their colts when we visited the refuge in recent months, but I never managed to catch them in good light conditions.3FFB4755-1629-45D4-85A9-C4FAFEE00B81_1_201_a This time, we did a double-take as soon as we drove in the entrance road. The two adult Cranes were strolling right alongside us by the canal. (No sign of the colts this time, though 🙁.) We parked a little further down and, as I stepped out of the car with my camera, they headed straight toward us.9B8B03C7-E48F-4B91-9B61-CB2E50115E32_1_201_a The pair sauntered right by – within inches of me. Then they climbed down through the tall grass, and made their way across the canal. What a treat!♥️

More about these large, graceful, year-round Florida residents can be found at All About Birds.

41 thoughts on “Close encounter with the Sandhill Cranes

    • We saw this pair’s 2 colts initially, and they were growing quite large, though still hovering right at the parents’ heels. Then we only saw one, alas, and a couple of weeks later, neither was with the parents. Probably too early to be off on their own, I’m afraid.

    • It’s interesting how familiar with humans the Cranes that we see are. Not only do we see them in many of our popular birding spots, but we’ve often seen them hanging out on ball fields, too. ⚾️☺️

  1. What a special encounter! And your photographs are great – especially the middle one with the strong eye contact – very striking!

  2. A wonderful encounter BJ, it is always a thrill to get a pair of birds up close, and your photos are excellent, of these grand birds which remind me so much of our Brolga. It is a lovely sense of peace when they trust you without fear, it is like going back to the garden of Eden, a reminder of a time lost, which will one day be restored in an even more wonderful glory 🙂

  3. Great experience, Carol. Lucky you. The Sandhill Crane is not seen here in New England, or at least not often, so I envy your opportunity.

    Your mention of how close they were reminded me of this video of a bunch of Aruban beach toughs. 🙂

  4. Every time I visit Florida I go looking for the sandhill cranes. They are such graceful birds. Great shots, Carol. 🙂

  5. On Sun, 26 Jul 2020 at 11:03 PM Birder’s Journey wrote:

    > Birder’s Journey posted: “We always hoped to see the Sandhill Crane pair > with their colts when we visited the refuge in recent months, but I never > managed to catch them in good light conditions. This time, we did a > double-take as soon as we drove in the entrance road. The two adul” >

    • My apologies, Deborah! I just realized that I’d missed replying to several wonderful comments on this post, including yours. The Sandhill Cranes we see in many locations are actually quite comfortable around people, but I know what you mean….we’ve also seen some individuals or pairs who almost ‘scamper’ off when people approach.

  6. What fantastic shots! Such beautiful birds. I’ve seen them in the neighborhoods of Orlando in years past.

    • I apologize for this incredibly late reply to your comment on my Sandhill Crane post! Thanks so much for visiting and also for your kind consolation upon the death of my sister over the summer. I’m curious that you mention Orlando, but I thought you were from New Jersey based on your email!

  7. Nice shots, Carol, cool experience, I know first hand! I had a pair walk past almost over me as I sat at the top of an embankment several years back in Florida. They weren’t even fazed with me and got so very close….. I wasn’t sure if one might attack so I didn’t move. It was awesome. Thanks for the memory! 🙂

  8. Hi BJ, I tried to comment on your Lesser Bittern but when I tried to open your post it told me there was an error, so I just wanted to comment on the beautiful shots of this bird as we know how elusive they are to actually photograph, well done my friend 🙂

    • Thanks so much for that, AB – and forgive me for not getting to respond here MUCH sooner. I think I was still in a sort of otherworldly state after my sister’s sudden passing, and didn’t quite catch up on comments here back in July. My least bittern also never made it to the blog as a complete post, but thank you for mentioning it! I value your visits!

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