Cranes in the cornfield

We spent a dark gray, occasionally rainy afternoon looking for Sandhill Cranes near Grand Island, Nebraska. We missed the massive numbers of Cranes seen last week — 250,000 over a 70 mile stretch of the Platte River had dwindled to a mere 38,000 this week. But we managed to find a few birds.

They are such stately birds, but sound and look prehistoric.
Some birds engaged in mating displays, but most were more intent on foraging, head down, looking for whatever there was to eat.
The Cranes seemed restless; it was late in the afternoon, the wind was blowing more than 20 mph, and the temperature with wind chill was pretty arctic. Time to call it a day and retreat to a quiet, protected place on the river.
Long “Vees” of Sandhill Cranes filled the sky as they flew from field to field looking for the last bits of grain or some juicy invertebrates to build up their fat stores before starting north again.

2 thoughts on “Cranes in the cornfield

  1. Pingback: Cranes in the cornfield — Back Yard Biology | By the Mighty Mumford

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