Earlier this morning, around 10 a.m, I was pulling Anna and Ezra in a wagon around the yard. Suddenly I heard a sound overhead. It reminded me of a dinosaur sound from the movies. Above me, were two large birds, flying south. I thought they might be herons, but I wasn’t quite sure. After bringing Anna and Ezra inside, I decided to research the birds I saw. Here is what I learned.
What I had seen, was a Sandhill crane. Sand hill cranes are fascinating birds. They are the most common of the world’s cranes. Sandhill Cranes are huge birds with wingspan of 5 to 6 feet! They live in wetlands of North America, and Siberia, where they feast on plants, grains, mice, snakes, insects and even worms. Because they enjoy plants the most, they often come into conflict with farmers. Every winter when the cold winds begin to sweep the marshes, large groups of cranes take to the air, to begin their arduously long migratory journey to Florida, Texas, Utah, California, and as far away as Mexico!
When Sandhill Cranes choose a mate, they are remain with the mate for their entire life. Two chicks are raised at a time, and parents take turns incubating the eggs. When the eggs hatch, the mother tends to the nest, while the father keeps away menacing creatures such as foxes, or humans. One interesting expression of harmony expressed by cranes, is the “unison call”. This call, is produced by birds near each other, and is a sycronished duet, which reinforces the bonds between a male and female crane. That “unison call” is the sound we heard when the Sandhill Cranes flew over our yard.
Sandhill Cranes are unique birds. Their example of commitment should be a reminder to us, and their uniqueness points us to a brilliant and loving Creator. I was privileged to be able to see such fascinating birds!
This is where I found information on the sandhill crane:
You can listen to the sandhill crane call, here: http://www.bakersanctuary.org/media/SandhillUnisonCall.mp3