This family of Sandhill Cranes hangs around my yard. The juvenile on the right is about a year old. (Click on photos for larger view.)
cranes_1.jpg

They had two chicks this year but for, some unknown reason, killed both of them. They live as far north as the Arctic but these stay here (FL) year round.

cranes_2.jpg

According to Wikipedia, the average Sandhill is 39 in. tall. However these are closer to 48 in. tall. They have no fear of humans at all, probably because some of the people in the subdivision feed them.

cranes_3.jpg

These photos were taken with a Nikon D40X DSLR and edited with Paint Shop Pro XI.



  1. emeryjay says:

    In Central Florida it seems like sand hills travel in threes. I enjoy watching them fly. They really make a racket when they are having a conversation.

  2. Rudedog says:

    I have a set of these as well in my back yard. They stop by at least once a day.

    I’m in Seminole county, FL

  3. Satan says:

    Great photos!

  4. hhopper says:

    The sound they make is amazing.

  5. qsabe says:

    So, your point is?

  6. BertDawg says:

    What required editing?

  7. Alan says:

    hop- I use PSP X and, like BertDawg am curious about your editing. Were the photos just cropped, did you use “one-step-photo-fix” or more extravagant stuff. Great photos BTW.

    Thanks.

  8. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Nice!! What lens? What time of year? Can I come by? These would be a life bird for me.

  9. chewy says:

    Photoshopped

  10. hhopper says:

    #6 – BertDawg – I cropped them, adjusted the brightness and added a little sharpness. They looked pretty good right out of the camera though. The only program that has a one-step fix that I like is UpShot.

  11. BertDawg says:

    They’re excellent pix. That’s one of the things I like most about living in FL also – the birds. When we first got here years ago, it was courtesy of the USAF at MacDill AFB in Tampa. I love to watch the pelicans.

    The other thing of course is the winters, where all the relatives up in NH ask what the temperature is here when they’re up to their hips in snow.

  12. Professor Johnnycakes says:

    Lucky You… I got skunks in my backyard. (Sorry, no photos)

  13. Mr. Fusion says:

    I have moles in my yard. The problem is do I use grub poison, poison bait, try to trap them, or just let them tear up the lawn. We use well water so I am very hesitant about putting any type of poison down. They laugh at my traps. And they are doing a swell job of tearing up the lawn. The cat catches one every week or so, but that only encourages them to breed more.

    Sorry, no pictures.

  14. joshua says:

    Fusion….moles can be pretty mean little critters with those claws. Hope your cat is insured.

    HHopper…..maybe they killed the new chicks because they wanted to date outside their religion.

  15. BubbaRay says:

    [off topic]
    #13, Mr. Fusion, here’s an interesting link for your mole problem — now I’ve got to get rid of the darned possums.
    http://www.themoleman.com/control.htm

  16. Dauragon88 says:

    14.

    OH GOD!!! I feel so bad for lauging at that xD

  17. Mark says:

    I’m sure there are plenty of birds in Florida to keep your eye one, but if you ever happen to randomly find yourself in central Nebraska (a.k.a. The Sandhills) , it is quite a sight to see the thousands of cranes that stop in the fields during their migration.

  18. Mr. Fusion says:

    #15, Bubba,

    Tried the traps. They laugh at them. Our soil is too sandy for them to be effective. I would love to trade a few for some of those cranes.

    Ya possums can be nasty. They’ll play chicken with ya on the road but I understand they sure don’t taste anything like chicken.

    Oh ya, nice pics hopper.

  19. Timbo says:

    Nah, these are photoshopped chickens!

  20. hhopper says:

    We’ve also got armadillos, raccoons, turkeys, tortoises, turtles, deer, coyotes, possums, bobcats and gators hanging around. The coons are the worst as they can open just about any garbage can and spread the contents far and wide. And the armadillos dig holes in everything.