The language of cranes…

sandhill cranehr

Sandhill cranes nest in the wetlands of the Northwest Territories before beginning their trek south for the winter. 

tow craneshr

Mated pairs of sandhill cranes stay together year round, and migrate south as a group with their offspring. Both males and females incubate the eggs. Their calls are unique — they give loud, rattling bugle calls, each lasting a couple of seconds and often strung together — and can be heard up to 2.5 miles away. 

cranes flying-edited

These cranes have a large wingspan, typically 1.65 to 2.29 m (5 ft 5 in to 7 ft 6 in), which make them very skilled soaring birds, similar in style to hawks and eagles.

Listen to their unique calls here… 

The Sandhills 

The language of cranes

we once were told

is the wind. The wind

is their method,

their current, the translated story

of life they write across the sky…

Linda Hogan

Images are from my August trip to Canada’s North, (above the 60th parallel) — the spectacular Northwest Territories…

6 thoughts on “The language of cranes…

  1. These are fabulous shots, Sherry! When we lived in California, we went several times to a bird preserve near our home. They have a festival every year welcoming the sandhills who migrate there. I’ve also seen them at Yellowstone a few times. But I never managed to get that close to them- you got some amazing photos!

  2. Thank you, Laurie! I am a bit out of my depth with wildlife photography — and my lenses are too short — but I certainly enjoyed having the opportunity to see and hear these unique birds.

  3. Lovely! And the poem you’ve chosen to go with your images is great too.

    I had never seen these beautiful birds until 2011, when we were cruising on the Central Coast of BC. We saw them a couple of times, on the outer islands – probably starting their southward migration. Very impressive, and those calls…they’re definitely something you don’t forget.

  4. COOL! These guys are all over the area here. Very bold, frequently causing traffic jams by walking in the roadway. I’ll try to get a picture of them attacking Virgil: if they’re on the golf course when he goes out, they start honking and walking toward him very aggressively. He stands his ground till they get quite close then creeps back to the safety of the house pretending he had intended to go back all the while!

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