Florida Sandhill Crane Birds
Florida Sandhill Cranes
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
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
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
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© 2012 Linda Bilyeu