Sunday, April 22, 2012

That's No Deer...It's a Sandhill Crane

The photos in this post all come from Google.
Why? Because I have ruined too many cameras by keeping them on my person.

Tonight as Wifey and I were taking care of the animals we heard a very odd call in the corn stubble field behind our place.  It wasn't a turkey or a goose, which are the normal visitors to the field.  We could see a shape moving out in the stubble about 1/4 mile away that looked at first like a deer feeding.
We hopped onto our golf  farm cart and it wouldn't start. The engine rolled over but wouldn't catch.  I had had problems last year with bad gas (too much water in it) and thought maybe that was the problem as I had filled it earlier in the day and emptied the gas can into it.  So I got busy removing the gas line to check it out.  Nope the gas was fine.  Cleaned the air filter and applied some choke.  Nodda. THEN I decided to check the spark plug.  Ah Ha...the wire was off.  I must have knocked it loose earlier when I had to replace the starter belt that flew off while I was driving it in the corn stubble.
Anyway while I was doing this Wifey spotted 2 more of the creatures out in the field and announced that they were cranes.  With their heads down and their color and walking toward us it was very difficult to tell the difference between them and deer doing the same thing. But once they lifted their heads on those long necks, BINGO.  Now in this part of Michigan we never see cranes, so this was an event.
After I got the cart running we let the goaty girls out of their pen to browse and headed to get a better look.  The goats followed us to the back of the property and we all watched as 2 of the cranes head farther back in the field but the 3rd one came closer.  The Girls soon lost interest and began their evening feeding, tearing up grass with as much noise as a heard of swine.  But the Sandhill Crane came ever closer until it was only a little over 100 yards away.  These photos make it hard to see just how big this bird is, I would estimate the body length at about 4 ft., the height to the back about 3.5 ft.,  the height to the top of the head when neck is extended  over 6 ft.

As it passed in front of us it must have realized that it was alone and made that eerie call once more.
(I tried to paste a link here but gave up after an hour. Just Google: Sandhill Crane call,  and it's easy to find)

And flew off.


robin said...

what wonders the world holds!

Melodie said...

It always amazes me to see these giant birds!

warren said...

Ok, this..." I had had problems last year with bad gas (too much water in it)"

{*still laughing*}