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#258973 - 10/14/15 02:53 AM Sand Hill Cranes up close  
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Chucki's Dad Offline
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NW Ohio
Sand Hill Cranes showed up at the lake we go to in Michigan about 10 years ago. Last year one started spending a lot of time at one of the neighbors 5-6 houses away. While taking pictures of him through our 35mm camera and 300mm lense, I discovered he was missing the lower part of his/her leg and foot. We gave him the nickname of "Peg Leg." He hung around until December and then apparently left.

We wondered if he had somehow survived the winter and or migration. While sitting at a campfire sometime in April this year just as it was getting dark, Peg Leg flew within 20 feet of us. So he had survived the winter/migration and had a companion now. They flew back to the house from the year before and landed.

A missing foot doesn't seem to affect him much other than maybe slowing his ability to walk a little. We didn't see any offspring this year so maybe next year.

The neighbor leaves out some kind of food for them and we have seen them hand feed both of the cranes. This hasn't seemed to tame them any as they both still disappear for a day or two and still peck around for bugs and things.

I took a short video of them in our yard last weekend. Peg leg is the closest one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rveGJpiBmsM&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop











Mark and Chucki (FMM2)
#258974 - 10/14/15 12:31 PM Re: Sand Hill Cranes up close [Re: Chucki's Dad]  
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BE2Cassie Offline
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Great video, thank you for sharing it. I used to work with a pair of sand hill cranes at the zoo and loved listening to their calls. Tell your neighbors to be extremely cautious next year with them. If they lay next spring the male will become very protective and attempt to chase off anything that comes near. We were not allowed to enter the enclosure until we could isolate the male. They use their beaks to stab jumping and aiming towards the eye of the perceived intruder.

Fraser and Lilith were their names, given to them by one of the children's groups.

Last edited by BE2Cassie; 10/14/15 12:32 PM.

Nancy & Cassie BE2
#258975 - 10/15/15 01:04 AM Re: Sand Hill Cranes up close [Re: Chucki's Dad]  
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We also enjoy listening to their calls especially up close. They are so loud they can easily be heard 1-2 miles away.

I'll keep your warning in mind if I see any young ones next spring.


Mark and Chucki (FMM2)
#258976 - 10/15/15 01:12 AM Re: Sand Hill Cranes up close [Re: Chucki's Dad]  
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We have them in large numbers here. I love each spring when the babies have hatched and are roaming about with their parents.


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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