Sandhill Cranes – (Grus canadensis) These birds are mostly migratory birds from Canada but Florida has Cranes that also live here all year long. They are distinguished from other birds by their gray bodies, red crown on their heads and black legs. The Sandhill Crane spends most of its time in undisturbed areas near water such as marshes and wet prairies. The area I saw these two Cranes was in a dry open grassy area that is flooded during the summer. It feeds on insects spiders, small mammals, roots and grain. Sandhill Cranes are some of the tallest birds in the world standing up to 4 ft. tall and have wing spans of up to 7 ft. These birds were spotted in a large grassy area probably looking for some small prey to eat. They were walking by as I came out of a church and continued on their way as I snapped a picture. The National Geographic website has some good information about the Sandhill Crane. The All About Birds website has some additional information and an audio clip of them calling out.
click on picture for larger image