Saturday, January 15, 2011
Sandhill Cranes migrate here to Florida in the winter from northern regions. They can usually be found in pairs and when flying, one can hear their "unison calling" or trumpet-like calls. I spotted a pair near a gas station in a Tampa suburb! This was one of them.
The Sandhill Crane has a red forehead, white cheeks and a long dark pointed bill. Its long dark legs trail behind in flight, and the long neck is kept straight in flight. Its large wingspan, which is 6–8 feet when fully grown, makes this a very skilled soaring bird similar in style to hawks and eagles. Utilizing thermals to obtain lift, they can stay aloft for many hours, requiring only occasional flapping of their wings and consequently expending little energy. With migratory flocks containing hundreds of birds, they can create clear outlines of the normally invisible rising columns of air (thermals) that they ride. (Wikipedia)