Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Too close, too far

Ever been looked down on by a Sandhill Crane?
Ever been too close to a Sandhill Crane? I wouldn't have thought it possible, but anything's possible in Florida, I think. Much like a previous encounter with Sandhills, I was pretty dazzled!


We found these at the Viera Wetlands in Brevard County, Florida when we visited in mid-March. It's such a cool place... be sure to get there someday! We drove the car loop and happened upon these two Sandhills moseying along the dike as if they owned the place.

What a gorgeous bird! And to think that they're hunted across much of their range.

Ridiculous, really.


I'd been hoping to spot a group of cranes in their migration over Atlanta; tried, in fact, to listen for them anytime I was outdoors in early Spring, but I never got that lucky. Instead I was pursued by two across the dike at Viera... we kept pulling the car forward... me in the grass, backing away in retreat...

These birds are very, very tall.

And not afraid of cameras.
 
Later in the afternoon we found a pair at their nest... at this, they were alarmed by our presence and we left to watch some Blue-wing Teal that weren't bothered by us nearby. Someone in a car after us lingered too long near their nest and we heard their unmistakable rattling calls of protest.

And still later in the afternoon, we spotted this... a Sandhill Crane colt! It was far off in the distance, feeding with its parents in the middle of a cow pasture that borders the wetlands. You might have to enlarge this pic to spot the baby... too far away this time!

8 comments:

Lené Gary said...

This post makes my heart sing. In the past, there was one known nesting pair in VT (I'm not sure what the current status is). I went to "their" pond annually to see them (without luck). Then, in the fall of '98, five flew overhead. I felt so lucky! :)

Queensgirl said...

I've visited Viera Wetlands two times, once right before a vicious storm hit (I watched alligators literally run across the paths) and once for a Masked Duck. I need to get back there again, a love its informality and its birdiness. I don't think I saw Sandhill Cranes there, but I did see two at Okeeheelee Nature Center that I didn't even think I could "count", they were totally tame.
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Larry said...

That number 3 photo is a cracking photo! I've manage to keep just miss seing these birds in Connectciut after they've been reported.-Something to look forward to.

Webtoad said...

Oooh! I love that close-up, photo #3! What a great place to visit ...loved sharing it with you. :-)

Rabbits' Guy said...

There it is! They are here from time to time - much more so in Eastern Washington. I accidently got a picture once - thought I was getting a heron far away!

egretsnest said...

This is the closest I've been to them -- it was in Yellowstone. So amazing.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizalee/4771575320/

MevetS said...

Yes I have.

And in Florida too!

:-)

greensuzan said...

Beautiful, they are cute and lovable, thanks for sharing!