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Nature Journal -Sandhill Cranes in Florida

watercolor by Gloria M

Did you know:

  • The Sandhill Crane is one of the oldest bird species still surviving today, with fossils dating back to over 2.5 million years ago.

  • Sandhill Cranes are known for their elaborate and synchronized courtship dances. The birds spread

  • Sandhill Cranes make epic migrations, gathering by the hundreds of thousands along the central Platte River in Nebraska. This remarkable event is a grand spectacle, as 80% of the world's population of this species come together, transforming the river into a sea of red crowns.

  • Not many are aware that Sandhill Cranes are not strictly vegetarian. They have a diverse diet that includes grains, berries, insects, and small vertebrates. It's their dietary flexibility that has contributed to the species' long-term survival.

  • Sandhill cranes have a distinctive and loud call, which is a way of communicating with their partners and offspring. The structure of their windpipe, coiled in the sternum, is responsible for this trumpeting sound that can be heard from miles away.

Helpful Links:

- Listening to Sandhill Cranes: [Audubon Guide]( )

Wildlife garden tips:

- Though it might be challenging to attract Sandhill Cranes directly to your garden due to their preference for larger open and wetland areas, you can still create a bird-friendly environment by providing a mix of trees, shrubs, and a water source to attract various bird species.

- Encourage and protect local wetlands, as they are critical for many species including Sandhill Cranes.

- Keep your garden pesticide-free to help maintain the natural food chain that these magnificent cranes, and many other birds, rely on for survival.

Observing the magnificent Sandhill Cranes in their natural habitat is a breathtaking experience. By appreciating their presence and doing our part in preserving their habitats, we can ensure these ancient birds continue to grace our landscapes for many more millennia.

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