I heard him coming…Sandhill Cranes are really loud.
From Cornell’s All About Birds:
“a loud rolling, trumpeting sound whose unique tone is a product of anatomy: Sandhill Cranes have long tracheas (windpipes) that coil into the sternum and help the sound develop a lower pitch and harmonics that add richness.”
And he flew right on by.
I could hardly make a post of this last, far off photo, but I was pretty amazed to see a Crested Caracara fly by just a few minutes before the Crane.
The Sandhill Crane family was on a walk when I passed by their marsh area.
The youngster, known as a colt because of their long legs, was curious about his surroundings but didn’t stray far from his parents. I didn’t see any sign that junior had started to fly, which happens around two months of age.
Sandhill Cranes are omnivores, poking around in the swamp and grasses for food.
Ted and I returned to Florida for five days at the end of February and went to most of the same places I photographed in late January. On my first trip I heard Sandhill Cranes calling at Vierra Wetlands but never saw them. I was delighted to see a pair on the second trip.
When we first saw the pair they were calling repeatedly and appeared to be looking for something. Unfortunately there was nothing nearby to include in the image to indicate their size. Sandhill Cranes are larger than Great Blue Herons, and can weight up to 10 pounds (4.75 KG). Great Blues top out at 5.5 pounds (2.5 KG).
We looped around the wildlife drive and about an hour later found them in about the same spot. They had stopped calling and their attention had turned to preening.