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Florida Sandhill Crane Birds

Updated on October 1, 2016
Sunshine625 profile image

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.

Florida Sandhill Cranes

Florida Sandhill Cranes near my home.
Florida Sandhill Cranes near my home. | Source

Florida Sandhill Crane birds take the vow of "love thy neighbor" very seriously. I have many crane families who stroll around my community daily. They are the type of neighbors we would all like to have.

They don't play loud music late at night and they don't mow their lawns very early in the morning. I don't expect them to ask to borrow a cup of sugar anytime soon, but if they did I would gladly give them a pound.

Florida Sandhill Cranes are also know as Grus canadensis pratenis. They are eloquent birds with long legs and long necks. Sandhill cranes could live up to twenty years. Their offspring normally leave the nest at ten months old. The cranes are sensitive and shy.

Family of Sandhill Cranes

Florida Sandhill Cranes ... my favorite neighbors
Florida Sandhill Cranes ... my favorite neighbors | Source
Cranes shopping my yard sale
Cranes shopping my yard sale | Source

They often flock to Florida for the winter months, but due to Florida's warm climate they usually stick around longer. They have become year-round residents, but don't expect them to purchase a Disney pass.

The cranes are respected within our neighborhood. They casually stroll around and will not pester anyone. They stride through the streets and lawns at a very causal pace. If they are crossing the road while you are driving, you will wait for them. We don't beep the horn. If they are standing by your car door as you are trying to enter your automobile, again you will wait. We don't startle them. That's disrespectful. On occasion I've noticed them shop at our yard sales. I've never witnessed them make a purchase, they are considered bargain shoppers. I bet they would get a good discount if they bought something.

Cranes are omnivorous and will eat things like seeds, worms, insects, lizards, frogs, crayfish and mice. They never ask us for food they just want their space and they give you yours. They do visit the perimeters of our community grocery store, but again I've never seen them make a purchase. They are always a joy to see.

Sandhill Cranes are monogamous and normally mate for life. The divorce rate for cranes is almost non-existent. They are humble, honest and honorable creatures. They will lay one or two eggs in their nest and conceal them near the water for protection from predators. Both parents incubate the eggs. Males protect the nest.

Some random facts about cranes. Their body spans 31.5 to 47.2 in. Their wingspan is 5 to 6 ft. Their weight averages 6.5 to 14 lbs. Their height is similar to that of a 6 ft. male.

A Crane's Spat - YouTube video

Light-color area is where cranes visit.
Light-color area is where cranes visit.

Sandhills are the most common of all the world's cranes. A fossil from the Miocene Epoch, about ten million years ago, was discovered to be the same as the modern sandhill crane.

Today, these large birds are found mostly in North America. Generally in south from Mexico and Cuba, and could be as far west as Siberia.

I've witness them have a spat. They can get vocal. Their screeches are loud and could be heard for miles! They will leap up and peck at each other with their wings flapping.

The cranes are just like any other family, they have issues. I've noticed they don't hold grudges and they get over their spats rather quickly. Then again when they are mating or courting each other they exhibit elaborate dances. To each their own.

I am thankful for my neighbors. I enjoy when they visit. They never overstay their welcome.

They don't leave a mess and best of all they remind me of the beauty in this world that we take for granted at times.

Long live the Florida Sandhill Cranes.

Their mating dance

© 2012 Linda Bilyeu


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    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting. Beautiful dancing! They are relatives of South Africa's National bird, the Blue Crane. Very elegant ant sophisticated birds.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi M, I'm sure your place also has beautiful things to offer...if not come over to my place!:)

      Thanks Crystal for visiting with the Florida Sandhill Cranes! I do look forward to their daily walks on my street. They are awesome creatures!

      Hi Sherri! Their mating dance is very LOUD! They could go for hours!!:)

      Thank you all for your comments!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Terrye, I didn't know you lived in Wasilla...I learn something new about you everyday! How fun!:)

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Delightful! I'd be thrilled to have these majestic birds for my neighbors. Loved the video of the mating dance. Up and interesting!

    • mythicalstorm273 profile image


      8 years ago

      Cranes are beautiful creatures! They are as diverse and unusual as everything else in the world and yet they are one of the coolest things to see while driving by and looking out into the distance. Other than that I didn't know a lot about them and found this very informational! Excellent hub! Not like that is unusual for you because you are an amazing writer, but I really did enjoy this one!

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      8 years ago from Neverland

      interesting facts shine. we never had crane birds here. I guess your place has a lot of beautiful things to offer.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      8 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      We used to get Sandhill Cranes at the lake near my house in Wasilla. LOVED watching them! Great hub and love the video! :) VUM.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hiaviannovice, I just had the family of four over visiting a few minutes ago. They are always fun to see. Thanks for your comment!:)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      8 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Such lovely creatures! I am an avid birder and heard about this, but never got to see any videos. Thanks.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks Shasta! I took those photos 6 months ago. Tomorrow is our next bi-annual yard sale. Hopefully the cranes will stop by again, I'll give them a discount:)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      8 years ago from USA

      Great photos and video, and wonderful information about sandhill cranes. I haven't seen any around here, but we treat our geese the way you treat your cranes. We'll wait.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you for sharing HubTub! We do appreciate and look out for our neighborhood cranes!:)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      As a native Floridian, I can definitely relate. Thank you for the beautiful hub. Voted up and awesome!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Sueswan, I'm glad you enjoy the birds and the video!

      Hi teaches, Christmas Eve cranes is wonderful! I'm glad you get to enjoy their visits also!

      Hi Cogerson, Thanks for the comment and who could believe it's a year already?!!

      Hi Suzie, American White Ibises is correct. Good memory!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Nity, Thank you for reading!

      Hi RTalloni, I so agree with you!

      Hi techygran, I also have an 8 lb dog that runs towards them and barks, the cranes aren't effected...they carry on as usual since they are used to her and my dog is now used to them.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Jackie, I'm daring...I get right up in their face to get photos, they are used to me.

      Hi Nebraska, Thank you for stopping by! This hub is for you!:)

      Hi Eddy, Thank you!

    • Suzie ONeill profile image

      Suzie ONeill 

      8 years ago from Lost in La La Land

      I spent one year in southern Flordia. Our apartment complex was often visited by white cranes with slightly curved beaks. They were much smaller than the ones you discuss in this hub. I looked them up once. If I remember right they were called American White Ibises.

      Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    • Cogerson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      Congrats on your new accolade....can't wait to see what you do in year 2. Keep up the awesome work.

    • Cogerson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      Welcome back to the HubPage publishing world. Awesome photos of some very beautiful birds. Grus canadensis pratenis seem like nice neighbors to would interesting to hear at least one of their arguments. Voted up and very interesting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      I live in south Florida and see these birds stroll around my neighborhood often. When I moved to here years ago, I saw them on Christmas Eve and I thought it was a great present! Their colorful red heads and long bodies are something to see. I enjoyed your hub very much.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Sunshine,

      Beautiful hub. You are lucky to have these beautiful birds in your neighbourhood.

      Voted up up and away!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia Zirkwitz 

      8 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Lovely descriptions of this elegant bird... of course, we like to call them Canada Sandhill Cranes (heheh)-- but it does sound like they have decided to be permanent 'snowbirds' where you live, or at least just come back here to pay their taxes? Really enjoyed the little movie of their dancing... how wonderful that you get to see that up close (I don't think our little 8# dog would settle for that-- she'd find a way to get loose and chase them). Voted up!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for a look at an old friend. Sandhill cranes are amazing creatures. I think they are delightfully elegant in their life's ballet. Their choreography may not be typical for most birds, but they are a wonderful example of the variety we get to enjoy in creation!

    • nityanandagaurang profile image


      8 years ago

      These bird gives feeling of naturalness to already busy life.I read first time so much about crane bird.Interesting and voting up.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      One to vote up and bookmark without a doubt.

      Take care


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love this! And I wish I had these visitors in my neighborhood!! All I have is squirrels and wild rabbits! Thanks for sharing, and always love the pics!!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      8 years ago from the beautiful south

      I saw a pair of these yesterday and I couldn't get to them for photos! Yours are beautiful!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Stephanie, I had no idea about the Great Backyard Bird Count! Thank you!!

      Esme, Good for you! Enjoy!

      Cardisa, Thank you for stopping by:)

      drbj, NO pockets! Of course, that's the reason!!

      Thank you all for your comments!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Audrey, I felt the same way about the yard sale. Our next community sale is March 10th. I'll take more photos!

      Tammy, Thank you kindly...the scenery is actually a lake near my home. The cranes were nice enough to pose!

      Moonlake, We are lucky to have such friendly, beautiful birds in our backyard.

      Audra, Much appreciated!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      These Sandhill cranes are elegant creatures, Linda, and as you pointed out, very pleasant neighbors who seldom throw loud parties. I saw a couple in the paring lot of my local supermarket. Figured out why they couldn't make a purchase. No pocket to hold a credit card!

      Thanks for enhancing my Sandhill crane knowledge.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      8 years ago from Jamaica

      Linda, what a beautiful hub and beautiful photos too. I wish I had such birds as neighbours. I love animals and they would make a wonderful addition to the family. I like the facts that you gave about them too.

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A Johnson 

      8 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I really enjoyed this hub. We don't have sandhill cranes here where I live in TN but they do migrate through Reelfoot Lake west of here. Thanks for the interesting and "tongue in cheek" info.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      I love this hub about Sandhill cranes! I never realized that they were so common in some parts of Florida, and I've only seen very few of them. Thanks for the insights into their behavior and for the great photos! Don't forget to report your sightings on Feb. 17th for the Great Backyard Bird Count! :) Voted up and tweeted!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Sunshine...Loved the pic of the cranes at your garage sale! Love the hub! Voted up!

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      We have Sandhill Cranes in the fields across the road from our house. They breed there and have their little ones with them at times. That's when we know Spring is here we hear them right away in the morning. Enjoyed your hub.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      8 years ago from North Carolina

      These cranes are beautiful as well as the coastal scenery. They are some beautiful creatures. I love your description of their personalities. Adorable!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      8 years ago from California

      We have cranes because I live near a bird sanctuary--but nothing as interesting as this-the yard sale thing is great!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you Alocsin!

      That would be real cool if your geese shopped yard sales. The cranes just hang out, view the goods and chill on the lawns. Stop by anytime!:)

      Thank you Vicki for stopping by and your comment!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Paula, Haha they live rent-free! No expenses for these fine-feathered friends! My 8 lb dog barks at them and the cranes just carry on. Not much bothers them. Stress free life. I enjoyed your comment!:)

      Thank you Robie!:)

    • vicki goodwin profile image

      Sojourner McConnell 

      8 years ago from Winchester Kentucky

      I loved this hub. The Crane is such a beautiful bird and to have them in your community is just so amazing. I am glad you appreciate them. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    • Ardie profile image


      8 years ago from Neverland

      They're beautiful! I never knew cranes are so common in Florida. They're like our geese here in can see them walking in yards, down streets, on playgrounds. However I have yet to see a goose browsing the yard sales hahaha

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Those are tall birds. I'm glad that you've learned to live with them since they are fascinating. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      8 years ago from Central New Jersey

      How wonderfull that birds and cranes manage to live together so nicely-- what a delightful hub and I love the pictures. Just great!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      8 years ago from Carson City

      Linda Sue...What an adorable and "interesting" story about these pretty birds....friendly too, I see. It's amazing to know they just browse around the neighborhood as if they're socializing with the residents.

      Very thoughtful of all you "humans" to be so kind and respectful of them. After all, I'm sure they pay their rent just like everyone else!! lol....Up ++


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