Monday, July 20, 2009

Sandhill Cranes - Now and Then

This spring and summer, I have had the great fortune to watch and observe a breeding pair of Sandhill Cranes as they raise their young at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan. The Sandhill Cranes call the park their home and several breeding pairs inhabit the park. This particular pair of cranes happen to be very tolerant of human beings. They watch us with caution and do not flee or act aggressively toward park visitors who happen to pass them by while out on the trails or on the park lawn.

Last May 15, 2009, a friend and I were out birding for spring migrants, when this family of Sandhill Cranes approached us while on the Aspen Trail. They had with them their new brood of two crane fledglings. We watched with amazement at these magnificent birds with tiny fledglings scurrying about at their feet. They fed quietly and strolled along without much notice to the human beings who were captivated by their appearance on the trail. The parents would make a low trill sound to alert the babies to stay with the parents and off they went into the deep cover of the marshland. Before we knew it, they were deep into the reeds and all we could see were the parents heads poking up every now and again with a morsel of food for their babies.
We are used to very skittish birds and to have these large birds walk by within a few feet was simply a breathtaking moment. I was so captivated by their grace and beauty I vowed to look for them throughout the season and watch their growth.

The first photo is from July 17, 2009, and the second photo is from May 15, 2009.


dAwN said...

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you may want to download is free download..
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take care

Appalachian Lady said...

Great photos of the sand cranes. I am adding your blog to my blogroll (useful tool to know when someone posts).

Larry said...

What gorgeous captures of the Sandhill Cranes Janet! I would do almost anything to get this close to these beauties. Their call is so haunting and prehistoric, it is my favorite bird call on the planet.

Thank you for sharing this uplifting story of the cranes raising their young right there in the park. It gives me hope for the future of birds and their environment.

Kolibri Expeditions said...

Cranes are fantastic creatures. This blogpost participating in Birdblogger's Tweetclub #005 got 224 clicks only from the tweetclub. Now I am sharing it on my Facebook.
Gunnar Engblom

stevebrauning said...

I was sitting in my sister's place in St. Cloud Florida the other day and I heard this honking sound outside. I went out and there was a pair of Sandhills standing on the lawn a few doors down, and they were kind of complaining. Nobody seemed to pay them any attention, since I guess they come around frequently.
The only thing I have never seen is that rusty color on them. I think it must be the northern race's breeding color?