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In the last couple weeks we have seen several flocks of sandhills-one big flock of several hundred and several smaller ones.Yesterday afternoon we were out deer hunting and a flock of 14 flew over.You can't miss their sounds.Nothing else sounds like they do.And their calls carry so far.Also while I was sitting on my stool, a wild turkey flew right by me.He was so close I could see his blue head and his eye.Has anyone else seen the sandhills?
 

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The Sandhill cranes are incredible! I had never seen them until we moved up here....they come early Spring to our valley, and have their young in the marshes here....

their wing span is unreal! I Love seeing them! We only have 6 - 8 tho...I think some of those would be the young from the previous year....there used to be lots more!

Annie
 

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Wow,Annie, it must be great to have them close by to be able to see their young.We had one flock light in a nearby field a few years back, so we got some pictures(not with digital camera,so I can't post them).I Love the sound they make.
 

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I love the sandhill cranes. The come here for the summer. Our neighbor has a private airstrip where he did some great ponds and waterfoul habitat along the edge. Now a group of six or eight come and have their young here every year. We got to see a couple of the yougsters take their first flights this year.
 

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They congregate here in the fall for about 2 weeks. They just stay in the same fields and every day the flock gets bigger. There is a Crane count weekend and this year the count was over 3000. A few years ago, they only counted about 600. The local farmers aren't too impressed with them, but the cranes bring in tourist dollars.

The racket made by 3000 cranes is amazing, but it gets pretty annoying to live with after a while.
 

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They are kind of annoying here. Like Rileyjo said the farmers aren't too crazy about them. They really wreak havock on a newly planted corn field. Other than that I think they are pretty cool. They migrate with the Canandian Geese and Trumpt Swans here. They have their young here too. Quite interesting to wath the parents walking with their young in the fields or stopping so they can cross the road
 

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We have two types here, the larger ones are usually snowbirds down the winter, and congrgate in groups up to a dozen. The smaller ones ae the native Florida cranes that usually stay in in groups of only 2 to 4.
Late last spring I happened on the tail end of a "dance". The birds face off in a square and take turns bowing, extensing their wings and then "bouncing" stiff legged up and down. Very amazing, if you have ever seen it.
 

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They aren't as impressive in the fall, so far as I'm concerned...

But then I've caught many a spring dance on the Platte, and that is a sight to behold!!
 

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I've only seen one flock ... going through ... here in KY. They flew over, circled and then I could hear them in once place so they'd obviously landed somewhere fairly close. I've seen a pair flying over a few times since.

In Montana, there was a big breeding ground (do they call them rookeries?) at the lower end of Pryor Creek and we used to see them there and on up the valley towards the mountains in the fields and along the creek. Very impressive birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm trying to find the pictures we took of the sandhills.When they first stsrted coming thru our area flying south our local paper put an article in about them.We've seen them every year for several years now.I believe they said they are going thru to Arkansas.If I can find the pictures ,I'll scan them and put them on here.Thanks for all your replies!
 

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We have sandhill cranes here.. four of them arrive in the spring and nest not far from our house.. I haven't seen the young ones, though.. I do love to hear them flying overhead, but I can imagine if there were more of them it could be very loud!!!

One autumn a crane got left behind because of a broken wing.. We had a lot of deer here then (before the wolves got them), and we used to bring some grain out near our old barn for them. The crane would feed with the deer, even chasing them away at times. It stayed under a hay rake when the snow came, and we started bringing grain out there for it. In January something got it, we snowshoed out in the field and found a wing. It was so sad not seeing it out there any more, but it was no life for it that's for sure. I do have some pictures but would have to scan them in.
 
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More and more sandhills have been showing up here every day. It's that time of year. They seem to really favor the university's cow pastures and you can often see many dozens to a hundred or more out there. I've seen several hundred in a pasture full of rye once. It was quite a sight.

.....Alan.
 

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I made the mistake of imitating one once...we danced around and around my little Toyota Tercel...he must have been close to 6 feet tall when he threw his bill up to "chortle"...I always wondered how my life would have changed if he had caught me!
 
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