I was astonished to see these three taking a stroll literally 500 feet from my apartment here in Florida. I have been taking my camera on walks with the dog so I quickly (poor Puppy) tied the dog to a tree and tried to sneak up on these guys. I actually had to stand there for a few minutes to adjust to he reality of these large birds being so close to me.
My first impression is that these cranes (which I at first assumed were herons due to the fact that really only herons live where i grew up), are really really large. In the photos they appear somewhat delicate. In real life, I sort of hoped I did not provoke any aggression They were at least 5 feet tall, which is essentially my size, soooo.
I then took my photo to whatbird and discovered that it was indeed not a heron, but a crane. Many of the Cranes look rather a like, but after looking and reading about the Cranes, and their range and habitat, I decided these are indeed Sandhill Cranes.
These cranes make a very surprising K-aaaa-rooo type of sound while walking along. It;s quite different from the "cry" that you might hear in other situations. It was a raspy clucky noise. I'll admit that the recording of this sound on WhatBird didnt entirely represent how unusual it is. I'll also admit perhaps one of these Cranes had a sore throat?
Apparently while the birds are naturally grey, they often preen with mud, causing them to appear brown. Initially this is what gave me a lot of trouble identifying them, so learning this information was helpful!
I was hoping the cranes would take off in flight or at least spread out their wings so I could get an image of those things, but no luck. I've had terrible luck trying to take photos of birds in flight as it is (any hints anyone???) .
I had been feeling the crunch of Gas prices and have not been going on too many Florida Excursions. It's nice when the wild life comes to you!
In other exciting news…I signed up to work the 4th of July for the extra Cash, so I will get 4 days in a row of 12 hour shifts. I'm hoping I hold up. Work has been terribly tragic lately.