Sand Hill Crane

On April Fools Day we were surprised to see a 4′ tall Sandhill Crane in the field south of our house. The birds are mostly slate gray colored, with some tan/brownish feathers on their sides and underside, and a red crown on their head around their eyes. When they fly, they keep their necks and legs extended. Within the last few decades, Sandhill Cranes have greatly expanded their nesting range and numbers. It’s been a record year for migrating sandhill cranes at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. “This year we had the highest number of sandhill cranes ever reported during a fall migration – 256. Recently they have become an occasional breeder in Upstate NY including Tupper Lake. Sandhill Cranes nesting in north migrate long distances. The cranes come to mid-continent to rest and refuel – beginning in late February through early April.