Friday, July 27, 2018

Sandhill Crane

On Tuesday, 24 July 2018, Erika and I visited the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Along the way, still in Rice County, we passed three Sandhill Cranes, two adults and a fully grown young, in a wet pasture. The birds were so close to the road, I asked Erika to turn around so that I could take these photos. The crane in the second photo is one of the adults, the young crane is shown in the last photo.
Here in central Minnesota during the past decade, Sandhill Crane populations have been on the increase. Now seeing them is not unusual (although they are not always as close to the highway as these birds). Across their range, northern Sandhill Cranes are stable or increasing. Sandhill Cranes breed across Canada and the northern United States. Florida, Mississippi, and Cuba also support crane populations. Sandhill Cranes lay from one to three eggs, with northern birds laying fewer eggs than southern ones. The young of northern birds take longer to mature than those in the south. Cranes survive, on the average, seven years. Wild cranes have lived over 37 years (Gerber et al. 2014).

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