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30 years ago you never saw one in this area. 20 years ago they were an infrequent visitor. 10 years ago a few nesting pairs showed up. Now there are many nesting pairs here. The other day I counted a group of 45. Has anyone else noticed these big beautiful birds moving into their neighborhood?
 

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They nest out here, we see more every year. They make ugly babies.

Friends back in KS have hunting seasons with generous bag limits. I never saw one back there in the 70s-80s.
 

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We have flocks of them in nearby Lake Redstone and they fly over my place or land in my fields all the time. Some folks consider them pests but I like them as I do most birds (except pidgeons and starlings).

Last year my neighbor was planting corn and one was following and picking out the seed as fast as he could plant the row. He wanted to shoot it.

There is no shortage of them, that's for sure.
 

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We started to see them here in central Michigan a few years ago. I'd never see or heard of them until one morning at daybreak I was going out to do chores and heard this primeval sounding call. As it happened I had just been to see Jurassic Park a couple days before, talk about stopping a person in their tracks. Went out to the field to investigate and could not believe the size of these birds. They were dancing in a circle and squacking like crazy. As I got closer I could see they were trying to protect their nest on the ground from a skunk. It was really spooky then but I do enjoy hearing them call now. We have a couple small ponds on the farm so they like to nest here. There are a pair and sometimes one offspring that come back each year, usually two offspring leave in the fall with mom and dad. Always wondered what happened to the second baby.
 

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There are several nesting pairs on my place, and the nearby meadows and wetlands.
Have been for years, and along the river noticed them at least 20 or more years ago. They might be increasing due to the warming and longer seasons they can nest and raise young here further north than before. They might be perhaps expanding their range here because of the favourable habitat. I don't know if there are more or less than 30 years ago. I notice every year they arrive about the same time....about mid May....and by October are beginning to migrate south. I notice they like to hang about the large hay bales at haying time in the fields. Every morning like clockwork, I hear them squawking and flying up from their roosting area out to the fields. Every evening around dusk, they fly back to roost in the meadows. Neat birds!
 
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They winter over here in Florida. In a good year I'll see many hundreds in one big pasture. We also have a few that stay the year round. Couple of weeks ago I saw four. I think they are the original mated pair and two adult offspring.

.....Alan.
 

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With sandhill cranes, i would guess that overhunting caused their previous decreased numbers and now they are recovering. Not being birds of prey, although they grub worms out the ground I think, and so not high on the food-chain, I suppose pollution was not the main problem with the cranes. My sister's neighborhood in Land-O-Lakes Florida has numerous sandhill cranes. In my area, WNC, golden eagles and hawks are being seen in increasing numbers and I think that is due to lowered levels of certain types of pollutants and possibly less shooting.
 

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I've got a pair nesting within sight of my farm. Last year they had 4 little ones. They are about the only big bird that doesn't eat my fish. :)
 

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We have a pair at work that makes the round of the area. I think they are based by the big pond over at the college and move around among the retention ponds and lots between building. It is kind of funny to see them bobbing across the Home Depot parking lot to the field next to the store. Some people give them bread and they make a trip by the bird seed scattered for he smaller birds. I think there are only a couple pairs in the area year round.
We haven't seen this pair as much lately. Is it nesting season right now?
 
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They have a season on them here in Oklahoma too. But they don't nest here. They just have a route through this state and stop at nearby lakes to feed and rest. Geese are getting to be a big problem around here. With the mild winter we had been having they had been wearing their welcome out. Crop devestation, and extreme waste litter in the parks. But, they're still amazing to watch coming into a landing or taking off.
 

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We have a LOT around here in the Spring. I love seeing them fly
 

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Sandhill cranes are just one of the several species of wildlife that I have never seen in northcentral Minnesota except for within the last few years or so. These other animals include gray wolf, wild turkey, trumpeter swans, turkey vultures, and possums.
 

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Cabin Fever said:
Sandhill cranes are just one of the several species of wildlife that I have never seen in northcentral Minnesota except for within the last few years or so. These other animals include gray wolf, wild turkey, trumpeter swans, turkey vultures, and possums.
CF do you have ravens? We don't have them here except for the occasional passer by.

Same here with the danged possum. Filthy vermin.
 
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Cabin Fever said:
Sandhill cranes are just one of the several species of wildlife that I have never seen in northcentral Minnesota except for within the last few years or so. These other animals include gray wolf, wild turkey, trumpeter swans, turkey vultures, and possums.
You don't have possums up there?

Well shoot. We can take care of that. Give me a week and we'll have a cattle hauler full of them rolling north. But wait! As a special bonus we'll include armadillos too! :p

.....Alan.
 

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We have several pairs that come visit our hayfields at least twice a year - spring and fall. They seem to leave for the summer or they come and go and we often hear them down at the lake but don't see them in the fields in the summer. Seems they are on their way back in to the fields as we just saw two pairs today.
 

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Thousands, and when they are calling, in large flocks during migration, it sounds prehistoric, like a modern version of a ptaradactyl.
 

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tinknal said:
CF do you have ravens? We don't have them here except for the occasional passer by.

Same here with the danged possum. Filthy vermin.
We do have ravens....many ravens. For many years, I just thought they were big crows.

I have never seen a possum in the woods yet, just road kill, so I know they're out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Cabin Fever said:
We do have ravens....many ravens. For many years, I just thought they were big crows.

I have never seen a possum in the woods yet, just road kill, so I know they're out there.
I see them on the road too. I don't swerve to hit them but I danged sure don't swerve to miss them either!
 

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Just wait a couple of years CF and you'll probably experience the joy of Armadillos too! :rolleyes: WIHH can tell you about those lovely creatures. Scientists didn't think they could stand the winters very far north, but their habitat keeps heading that direction.
 

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We've got grey fox and lots and lots of cottontails now too.
 
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