Greater Sandhill Cranes

Friends, This Greater Sandhill Crane is tiptoeing through the meadows of Crex in search of food.   Their rust colored feathers are being replaced by their more formal gray of winter.  When the molting season is here, one can find many feathers along the road and lakes where the cranes are busy pulling out old feathers and growing new ones.  The red head and white cheek patch signify that this is an adult bird.  Soon they will be flying over every morning from their roost site and every evening into their roost site. They migrate to the Texas Gulf Coast and to Florida, mostly an eastern route  thru Jasper-Pulaski National Wildlife Refuge in Northern Indiana.  On the way they eat grains, mollusks, and any grasshoppers that might still be roaming about.  When they are here at Crex, they often gather in large groups to dance and call, celebrating the raising of the young.  They are quite the spectacle until the snow flies, then one day they are gone and we are sad, but we wait patiently (?) until they return in the spring.  til Tomorrow MJ

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About mjspringett

Nature Photographer, searching for questions and answers

Posted on August 24, 2012, in Birds, Crex Meadows, Nature, photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. beautiful image, and beautiful story about them dancing and calling at Crex, how wonderful to see these migratory birds 🙂

    • yes they are wonderful birds and we are so lucky to be near this site of gathering, we moved up here from the cities (Mpls-St Paul) to be near Crex and be able to travel a shorter distance to witness this wonderful event every year. never tire of the cranes, calling, dancing, flying, sad to see them go when the snow comes, MJ

  2. They also travel through New Mexico. There is a lake south of Albuquerque that attracts thousands of these great birds.
    When we lived in Florida a pair came to the house everyday to be fed. The hen would eat grain out of Mikki hand. Actually a cup which she held in her hand. We called them Sandy and Zeus.
    There is a field north of Orlando that has thousands land each year to eat the corn that missed being harvested. jack

    • thanks jack, our sandhills are not very spooky but will certainly not eat grain from any person, they also fly to the corn fields in the morning when they leave the roost site, i think the cranes that go to Bosque de Apache are the lesser Sandhills, a bit smaller than our Greater Sandhills, regardless of size they are a beautiful sight when they take off into the rising sun, thanks again for your kind comments, MJ

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