Crane rerun

Yesterday was a rare, bright, warm fall day at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge just south of the Minneapolis airport, where two cranes posed for many minutes while foraging in a drying cattail swamp.  This was a far better look at these elegant birds than my previous post of them flying away from me.

One of a pair of Sandhill Cranes at MN Valley NWR:  male?  female?

One of a pair of Sandhill Cranes at MN Valley NWR: male? female?

The other of the pair, foraging at some distance from its partner, until we made the pair nervous.

The other of the pair, foraging at some distance from its partner, until our presence made the pair nervous.

Teaming up so one could watch while the other foraged.  They traded off the "watcher"  role every minute or so.

Teaming up so one could watch while the other foraged. They traded off the “watcher” role every minute or so.

sandhill cranes

sandhill cranes

5 thoughts on “Crane rerun

  1. I love sandhill cranes! We have large flocks that are here all year long, luckily, and there’s a group only a few blocks away from my house, so I get to hear them calling daily when they fly over. But our cranes swell in number during the winter, when the resident ones are joined by all the migrating ones. Then, places like Payne’s Prairie are something to behold. We also have a very small group of whooping cranes that come here every winter, down near the little town of Kissimmee. I’ve seen those once. I know they were scattered far and wide during the 4 back to back hurricanes of 2004, and I haven’t really heard whether they survived or not. I hope they did. What a sight they are, too. Nice posts lately, Sue. Sorry I haven’t been visiting as often as I like, but I’m working on it.

    • Great blue herons are taller (longer neck?), but the cranes are heavier. Cranes have slightly longer wings than the GBHs. I wouldn’t want to be near the beak of either of them, though. They both have long, sharp, chisel points for a bill.

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