Friday, February 24, 2012

Sandhill Crane Migration

Sandhill Crane (Grus Canadensis) is a large gray bird of marshes, meadows and wet lands with a body length of 41-46 in (or 104 - 117 cm) and a wingspan of  up to 6.9 ft ( or 210 cm). They are highly sociable  and form a tight family bond. They aggregate along the Platter River, Nebraska during spring migration and the area becomes an important stopover for over 450,000 of  Sandhills each year. It takes from two to seven years for an adult bird to start breeding. Mated pairs stay together year round and their offspring migrate with the parent  until they find their mate.

(Click image to see enlarged picture many are they? )

I took the above picture while driving on I-75 about 1 mile south of Lake Allatoona on Feb 20.  They are heading north and later I saw another smaller flock while visiting Ann Steward's Wood Duck box. Ann's great ears heard the calls (click to hear their calls) even before we spotted these cranes. I remembered I kept asking Ann "where, where, I don't hear ....". We searched the blue sky and did not see a thing and suddenly, a flock of 19 Sandhill Cranes (see picture to the right) came into our view. This was another highlight of my visit :) ...

Always looking up and you would never know what you will see! -- Happy Birding!! -- Linda

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