Sandhill Crane

Now, if you’ve been following along you’ll know that we have a pretty average suburban yard. Definitely not Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) habitat. Well, the rules we set down for this blog include anything that flies over our yard. Nearly every fall and spring we hear the calls of the Sandhill Cranes and many times all we need to do is look straight up to see them.

This is what you would have seen a few weeks ago.

When I point these out most people respond with “Oh geese”. If you can see them close enough you’ll see the trailing legs behind the wings, something you don’t see in flying geese. If they are calling, it is definitely not a honking sound that geese make.  You can hear their calls at Crane Calls. The final indicator is that they really don’t fly in nice neat formations like shown above that much. Almost as much you’ll see them circling to gain altitude and that formation (or lack of) looks more like you see in this photo.

If you’re lucky enough to find them in a more natural habitat you might be able to get some better photos of then. The shots below were taken at a nearby forest preserve but are being included here to give you a better view of the bird. When standing they are around 4′ tall and are quite a large bird for our area.

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~ by Gary & Therese on April 2, 2011.

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