Sandhill Cranes moving north

GjackMarch 1, 2014

I was on a photo outing this morning with a friend in southern Indiana. We spotted appox. 3000-4000 sandhill cranes in cornfields and meadows. As they departed they were flying north by northwest. If you spot and flights or roosting spots please post. I would love to know when they get back to their breeding grounds. Plenty of courtship dancing going on in the flocks we saw today.

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shillanorth Z4 AB

Well, that is good news, indeed. Thanks for the update and although we are having some rather frosty weather it is good to know they are on their way. I used to see them in the NWT in May/June - always a welcome sight.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:55PM
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countryatheart

I have never seen the courtship but will definitely be watching for it. I spotted a few small flocks over east central Illinois last weekend. Birds are migrating, they seem sure that spring will come. Me, I don't know. In the fall there were sandhill cranes that stopped in a field near where I work (southwest suburbs of Chicago). They stayed a few weeks and then were gone again. I had never seen them that up close before. They are a beautiful bird.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:57PM
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catherinet

Cool!
I live in central Indiana and we heard quite a few of them last week.
A place in northern Indiana (Jasper-Pulaski game preserve) is an area where they stop over in the Fall migration (maybe spring too?). We went one year and around dusk, they started flying in from all directions. According to the DNR, their numbers reach 30,000-40,000 that stop there. I guess they spend the night in a marsh area nearby and then continue their journey. We're under their flyway, and I look forward to seeing/hearing them every Fall and early Spring.
The Indiana DNR keeps tracks of their numbers, so that people who want to see them stop-over in northern Indiana know when to go to see the most.

About 30 years ago, when we first moved out here into the country, they landed in a field next to us. So neat!!

2 years ago, I heard them in January. I could never figure out why I heard them at that time.....although I think that was just before our drought.....so maybe they knew something we didn't.

Here's a pic I got of them a couple years ago. Wish I could have gotten a closer pic.

I like to look for the occasional whooping crane that sometimes travels with them, but haven't seen any yet.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:22AM
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beegood_gw

Well I hope they take the scenic route as it's still very cold (in the -30s C ) with several feet of snow here in Alberta. If you see any tell them to SLOOW down.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:16AM
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Aurore

They've had some breeding pairs in Montezuma Wildlife preserve here in New York. I've seen about thirty birds there during migration. Seems like they may be spreading out to other areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Montezuma

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Gjack

No whooping cranes in the flocks that we saw. But we did spot a few trumpeter swans while we were out mixed in a large flocks of ducks and geese

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 2:59PM
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hostanista

Dear Gjack:
You say you were on a "photo outing" and saw 3000 to 4000 sand cranes? Where are the pictures?!!! C'mon man! We'd LOVE to see those shots! You did take some, right? Please?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:47PM
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