Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Migrating Guests

I caught these two guys in our field on December 27, 2009. Sandhill cranes are large birds that live in open grasslands, meadows, and wetlands. Mating pairs stay together with their young in tow, so I'm guessing these guys are empty nesters! They feed mostly on seeds and grain but will occasionally indulge themselves in small insects.

We see them migrating in large flocks each year, but oddly enough we had never before seen them settling down in one of our ponds. The photo below, courtesy of's Department of Natural Resources, shows the tracking of a female Sandhill Crane on her journey back to the North. The red line goes directly over our house. This must be a normal route for the cranes as we see thousands upon thousands passing through on any given day during the migrating season!

I took a video of their call on my digital camera. It's crappy visual quality (I was afraid they would be gone by the time I found our video camera) but the sound of their call is pure.

Have you seen Sandhill Cranes in your area?


  1. i see these cranes at a park that i take my pup to in the summer. they are big and when they fly they look like teradachdyls!

  2. Great pictures. Perhaps these cranes have flown over my house in Illinois on their way to Wisconsin.


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