Sandhill Cranes

My favourite bird that I have seen in Florida is the Sandhill Crane.  We first came across them when we rented a villa which backed onto a Golf course, one May, and as we were sitting out enjoying the sunshine by the pool we saw a pair of birds with two chicks.  Since then we have seen them many times – including on a gas station forecourt on the US192 and at Bok Gardens in Lake Wales – and they always make me smile.

Most sandhill cranes live in freshwater wetlands which of course there are plenty of in Florida.  They are opportunistic eaters that enjoy plants, grains, mice, insects, worms or snakes (another reason to love them in my opinion).

The birds are naturally gray and their heads are topped with a crimson crown. During mating, pairs vocalize in a behavior known as “unison calling.” They throw their heads back and unleash a passionate duet—an extended litany of coordinated song. Cranes also dance, run, leap high in the air and otherwise cavort around—not only during mating but all year long.

The photo today is taken at Bok Tower Gardens.

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