Cranes in Flight
Fall brings the annual Cranefest. Sandhill Cranes are on their annual southern migration. Cranes, one of Michigan’s largest birds is so majestic in flight. I’m not sure what it is about the Sandhill Crane, but they just fascinate me. There are many more colorful species, but you just can’t mistake a crane in flight.
Dance of the Crane
Sandhill Cranes are known for their dancing skills. Even in the fall the cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance. I watched them over two hours as they danced around the wetland.
Call of the Crane
The Sandhill Crane’s call is a loud; rolling sound whose unique tone is unmistakable. If you live anywhere close to their habitat, you’ll know it! I often hear them honking, flying overhead across the lake.
Some facts about the Sandhill Crane you might not know:
▸ they have long windpipes that coil into the sternum that helps the sound develop a lower pitch call.
▸ they mate for life, and stay with them year-round.
▸ some start breeding at two years of age, but may reach the age of seven before breeding.
▸ the oldest Sandhill on record is over 36 years old, banded in 1973, found in 2010.
▸ the earliest Sandhill Crane fossil, estimated to be 2.5 million years old, was unearthed in the Macasphalt Shell Pit in Florida.
I hope you enjoyed the blog post, I sure had fun doing it.