You’ve seen them around. At around four feet tall with a five foot wingspan, Sandhill Cranes are hard to miss. These large birds with their long legs, distinctive gray plumage, red crest and long beak like to vocally announce their presence with loud, rattling calls – often in unison. They are seen and heard widely throughout Florida’s Adventure Coast.
Here are some interesting facts about the statusque Sandhill Crane:
Although they reside in Florida year round, with their winter numbers expanding and summer shrinking, one of nature’s greatest spectacles is the gathering of the Sandhills on the Platte River in Nebraska. Over a quarter of a million of these birds assemble at one time on this early spring migratory stopover.
Sandhill cranes have lifespans of twenty years.
Habitat is open grasslands and wetlands, with nests in protected areas around marshes and other bodies of water.
Sandhill cranes are omnivores, feeding on insects, aquatic plants, grains, rodents, snails, frogs and lizards.
Courtship includes exuberant displays of “dancing”, jumping, dipping heads and wing flapping.
Sandhill Cranes start breeding between two and seven years of age and mate for life.