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Sandhill crane calling out and bonding with its mate…you’ve got to love a good ruckus.

Location: Florida, USA
500mm Lens

Description: ADULT Has mainly blue-gray plumage, palest on face, red crown, and variable rufous feathering on wings. Legs and daggerlike bill are dark. JUVENILE Has variably blue-gray and rufous plumage, but typically rufous predominates on head, neck, and back. Bill is dull pink and red on crown is absent.

Dimensions Length: 34-48" (86-122 cm); Wngspn: 6’ 8" (2 m)

Endangered Status: The Mississippi Sandhill Crane, a subspecies of the Sandhill Crane, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Mississippi. Apparently the Sandhill Crane was always more numerous than the larger Whooping Crane, and the fact that it breeds mostly in the remote Arctic has saved it from the fate of its relative. But it is sensitive to human disturbance, and the draining of marshes has reduced nesting populations in the United States. The Mississippi subspecies declined in the mid-20th century when its preferred savannah habitat was planted over with slash pines. Commercial and residential development, the building of highways, pollution, and other factors have caused further deterioration to the habitat. Most of the current crane population and its habitat are protected in the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. The Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge to the southeast may be able to sustain a second population of cranes.

Habitat: Vast majority of population nests on remote tundra or expansive northern wetlands, and winters in wetland areas with adjacent farmland in southern U.S. and Mexico. Small population (4,000-5,000 birds) is resident in Florida, numbers boosted in winter by migrants.

Observation Tips: At traditional migration staging areas and winter roosts, the massive numbers of Sandhill Cranes provide one of the greatest wildlife spectacles.

Range: Alaska, Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, California, Florida, Texas, New England, Western Canada, Southwest, Northwest

Discussion: Large and almost unmistakable bird with a stately posture and gait. Outside breeding season, Sandhill is invariably seen in large flocks. In flight, Sandhill holds head and neck outstretched. Seen from below in flight, note mainly pale flight feathers. Arctic nesters are appreciably smaller and shorter-billed than southern breeders. Sexes are similar.



sandhill crane, sandhill, crane, red, calling, singing, bonding, bond, pair bonding, sound, ruckus, cranes, sandhill cranes, sand, hill, bird, bird watching, animal, animals, grey, gray, green, brown, florida, wildlife, nature, nature lover, william c gladish, bill gladish, gladish

I started out as an artist, became a pilot, and ended up where I am now: nature photographer and educator. Being a pilot allowed me to observe the Earth and humanity’s impact on it from 30,000 feet for many years. It allowed me to experience different cultures and to see the world through many lenses.

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  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppalmost 2 years ago

    WONDERFUL capture

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesalmost 2 years ago

    2012/07/15 1 Image per 24hrs

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkealmost 2 years ago

  • aprilann
    aprilannalmost 2 years ago

    Congratulations on having your image selected to be featured in the group “The Birds”.

    Great job!
    co-host – April

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Mary Sedici
    Mary Sedicialmost 2 years ago

    July 15th, 2012
    See your work in the Permanents Featured Gallery
    ►Please participate in the ongoing Challenges

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Heather King
    Heather Kingalmost 2 years ago

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Photography  by Mathilde
    Photography b...almost 2 years ago

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELalmost 2 years ago

    CONGRATULATIONS on your lovely feature in Furry Friends Group…

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...over 1 year ago

    Congratulations! Your marvelous image is among the featured work of the 300+ Go Long group! Please view and participate in comments on our featured page here

  • thank you :-)

    – William C. Gladish

  • labaker
    labakerover 1 year ago

    great shot and info William :) had the pleasure of watching them in Florida.

  • thank you…lots of fun :-)

    – William C. Gladish

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