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Sandhill Cranes

In Utah, we took one day to explore a series of rivers southwest of Salt Lake City. Jordanelle State Park is located near the Jordanelle dam. It’s a very popular spot for fishing.
As we were leaving the area, we spotted some movement in the grasses and stopped the car. I saw my first sandhill crane!

Sandhill cranes are so beautiful and delicate. They move like ballet dancers; very carefully and quietly. They’re quite skittish.

The sandhill crane has the oldest fossil records of any existing bird species. Scientists have found a fossil of a sandhill crane that dates back 2.5 million years, which is 1.5 times older than the second oldest fossil of any existing bird species.
And then there were two!
Sandhill cranes mate for life. Their mating ritual involves a series of leaps and deep bows.
They’re supposed to migrate through the Bay area starting in September. I’m going to try and find somewhere local that is in their known migration path. Lodi, CA holds a crane festival every year, which is tempting, but located over 100 miles away.

2 Responses to “Sandhill Cranes”

  1. Meg says:

    Great pics, I love seeing Sandhills in the wild! I have a friend that raises Sandhills, among other birds, and I help them a lot. They really are beautiful birds, even if the parents do want to (and easily can) kill you. The chicks are adorable!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    That is so cool! I would love to be near them, especially near the babies. Does your friend raise them for a reason, like repopulating the species? I had no idea that they could be vicious. Makes sense, though.