Friday, April 13, 2018

Sandhill Cranes land...

Sandhill Cranes
If you click on the pics, you will get a closer look at the red patches on their heads.

Yesterday NumberOneSon called on the 2-way radio and said there were a whole lot of cranes in our Horse Creek Pasture.  I radio'd back for their location and asked if anyone wanted to go with me to see the sight.  A young voice answered back, "We want go, Gram."  So I grabbed my camera, pulled on my mud boots and coat and flew out the door to get in the Ranger.  I met two of the kids who were excitedly waiting outside for me with binoculars around their necks.   Peach and Toodles climbed in the Ranger and we took off, sliding our way through the mud and muck out to the puddly pasture. 

And there they were! From a distance, they looked like a herd of sheep because there were so many of them, and they blended in so well with the landscape like sheep do.  We inched closer and I kept snapping pictures in hopes that one or two would turn out ok.  Then I turned off the motor and we just sat and watched and listened to them talk to one another.  It was quite a sight!  And quite the sounds!  I have never, ever seen this many Sandhill Cranes in one place.  I suppose there were at least one hundred.  I'm sure they are migrating through, and likely a few pairs will stay behind here on our prairie.  We always see cranes in the summer with their long-legged babies walking behind their parents through the pastures.  We often have a pair living fairly close to our home and they will come by our stock pond and perch in our tall cottonwoods in the evening.  It's kind of scary when I walk by the trees on a summer's night to shut the chickens and a couple huge cranes flies off over head with their rattle-y calls.

After our bird-watching adventure, I was telling the girls that I remembered reading a very good book called Cranes in My Corral about an Oregon rancher's relationship with four cranes who lived in his corrals.  I think I borrowed the book from our local library.  I thought it might be a good story for the kids to read. 

Once I dropped the girls off at their house, I drove home and walked in the door and smelled hot rice.  O golly!  I had forgotten all about the rice!  I had set some rice on the stove to boil and ran out the door with such excitement that I forgot all about it.  Thankfully, the rice was not scorched and supper was not lost.  Not to mention, we had ourselves a fine Sandhill Crane Adventure!

Today a large flock of robins were chattering and fluttering around in our three juniper trees in the front yard.  Another migration on this wet, wet snowy day.  The big snowstorm that we were anticipating went south and east of us.  We did get some rain and slushy snow out of it, but the poor folks to our east got slammed with a foot or more of snow along with 50 mph winds.  That's hard work ahead. 


  1. I think it's so dear that your son KNEW his mama would want to know about the cranes. How fun to slog through the mud in the Ranger. I LOVE driving on dirt roads. Our Jenny has decided to home school next year so I hope I can go on some field trips to the reservoir, journaling about wild life.
    Take care, sweet Jody.

  2. That's an amazing lot of cranes! We've seen a pair in a bird sanctuary. They were very very protective of their baby and we were warned to stay far away lest they attack us.

  3. What fun! I would have probably forgotten the rice, too. I bet those grands have gotten so big. Miss "having coffee" with you and all the gals. Love from Texas, Leslie

  4. I would so love to see some cranes up close. I have yet to hear them this spring. Glad the storm missed you. I was worried how you had fared. My parents lost 4 calves. Not good, but it could have been worse. I worry because none of us kids are home to help them. Your Grandkids will have some wonderful memories when they grow up.

  5. What a wonderful experience in beauty and to teach those little ones! The photos are gorgeous.

  6. Wow! That's a lot of Cranes!! I'm so behind in visiting but soon I'll be back fresh when all this listing, selling and moving is behind us. Blessings!

  7. That is a huge herd of cranes! My daughter's family usually gets a few sandhills that "graze" around in a farmer's field just outside their living room window. They are amazing to watch. They also get a large number of wild turkeys, not to mention the neighbor's guinea hens who come by to visit. Sounds like a fun time was had by all! I've only seen a couple of robins so far, but I don't go outside a lot. Maybe some of yours are headed this way! :)

  8. What a wonderful story. I am so glad you had some helpers to come with you and see the cranes. What a gift Jody! I would love to see that. I am so glad you got pictures of it.
    I am glad rice wasn't burned. I burned my dinner this week, I thought I was going to loose my pot, but I managed to scrub and scrub but I got it. I love that you dropped everything to go see those cranes. You are a great birdwatcher. I hope you can find that book.

  9. That is exciting! If we see one heron flying over suburbia, we get quite animated. That must have been worth the rice!

  10. So much to catch up on here! I'm saving your whole blog page and taking it home with me to read slowly, but just skimming through is so much fun. Can't wait to read this on the cranes, as there were two cranes that came every year (it seemed like the same ones anyway!), and when they came, I would hear them and run out the door to look across the meadow until I could spot them. Sometimes they wandered all the way to our yard. I loved those birds. Haha.


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