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Florida Sandhill Crane Birds

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.

Florida Sandhill Cranes near my home.

Florida Sandhill Cranes near my home.

Florida sandhill crane birds take the vow of "love thy neighbor" very seriously. I have many crane families who stroll around my community daily. They are the type of neighbors we would all like to have.

They don't play loud music late at night and they don't mow their lawns early in the morning. I don't expect them to ask to borrow a cup of sugar anytime soon, but if they did, I would gladly give them a pound.

Florida sandhill cranes are also known as Grus canadensis pratenis. They are elegant birds with long legs and long necks. Sandhill cranes could live up to 20 years. Their offspring normally leave the nest at 10 months old. The cranes are sensitive and shy.

Family of Sandhill Cranes

Family of Sandhill Cranes

They often flock to Florida for the winter months, but due to Florida's warm climate, they usually stick around longer. They have become year-round residents, but don't expect them to purchase a Disney pass.

The cranes are respected within our neighborhood. They casually stroll around and will not pester anyone. They stride through the streets and lawns at a very casual pace. If they are crossing the road while you are driving, you will wait for them. We don't beep the horn. If they are standing by your car door as you are trying to enter your automobile, again, you will wait.

We don't startle them. That's disrespectful. On occasion I've noticed them shop at our yard sales. I've never witnessed them make a purchase; they are considered bargain shoppers. I bet they would get a good discount if they bought something.

Cranes are omnivorous and will eat things like seeds, worms, insects, lizards, frogs, crayfish and mice. They never ask us for food; they just want their space and they give you yours. They do visit the perimeters of our community grocery store, but again I've never seen them make a purchase. They are always a joy to see.

Sandhill cranes are monogamous and normally mate for life. The divorce rate for cranes is almost non-existent. They are humble, honest and honorable creatures. They will lay one or two eggs in their nest and conceal them near the water for protection from predators. Both parents incubate the eggs. Males protect the nest.

Some random facts about cranes. Their body spans 31.5 to 47.2 in. Their wingspan is 5 to 6 ft. Their weight averages 6.5 to 14 lbs. Their height is similar to that of a 6 ft. male.

Florida Sandhill Cranes ... my favorite neighbors

Florida Sandhill Cranes ... my favorite neighbors

A Crane's Spat - YouTube video

Sandhills are the most common of all the world's cranes. A fossil from the Miocene Epoch, about 10 million years ago, was discovered to be the same as the modern sandhill crane.

Today, these large birds are found mostly in North America. And also in Mexico and Cuba, and as far west as Siberia.

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I've witness them have a spat. They can get vocal. Their screeches are loud and could be heard for miles! They will leap up and peck at each other with their wings flapping.

The cranes are just like any other family; they have issues. I've noticed they don't hold grudges and they get over their spats rather quickly. Then again, when they are mating or courting each other they exhibit elaborate dances. To each their own.

I am thankful for my neighbors. I enjoy when they visit. They never overstay their welcome.

They don't leave a mess, and best of all they remind me of the beauty in this world that we sometimes take for granted.

Long live the Florida sandhill cranes.

Their mating dance

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Linda Bilyeu


Martie Coetser from South Africa on May 23, 2013:

Very interesting. Beautiful dancing! They are relatives of South Africa's National bird, the Blue Crane. Very elegant ant sophisticated birds.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 03, 2012:

Hi M, I'm sure your place also has beautiful things to offer...if not come over to my place!:)

Thanks Crystal for visiting with the Florida Sandhill Cranes! I do look forward to their daily walks on my street. They are awesome creatures!

Hi Sherri! Their mating dance is very LOUD! They could go for hours!!:)

Thank you all for your comments!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on July 03, 2012:

Terrye, I didn't know you lived in Wasilla...I learn something new about you everyday! How fun!:)

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on July 02, 2012:

Delightful! I'd be thrilled to have these majestic birds for my neighbors. Loved the video of the mating dance. Up and interesting!

mythicalstorm273 on July 02, 2012:

Cranes are beautiful creatures! They are as diverse and unusual as everything else in the world and yet they are one of the coolest things to see while driving by and looking out into the distance. Other than that I didn't know a lot about them and found this very informational! Excellent hub! Not like that is unusual for you because you are an amazing writer, but I really did enjoy this one!

Life Under Construction from Neverland on July 02, 2012:

interesting facts shine. we never had crane birds here. I guess your place has a lot of beautiful things to offer.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on July 02, 2012:

We used to get Sandhill Cranes at the lake near my house in Wasilla. LOVED watching them! Great hub and love the video! :) VUM.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 28, 2012:

Hiaviannovice, I just had the family of four over visiting a few minutes ago. They are always fun to see. Thanks for your comment!:)

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on March 25, 2012:

Such lovely creatures! I am an avid birder and heard about this, but never got to see any videos. Thanks.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 09, 2012:

Thanks Shasta! I took those photos 6 months ago. Tomorrow is our next bi-annual yard sale. Hopefully the cranes will stop by again, I'll give them a discount:)

Shasta Matova from USA on March 09, 2012:

Great photos and video, and wonderful information about sandhill cranes. I haven't seen any around here, but we treat our geese the way you treat your cranes. We'll wait.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 25, 2012:

Thank you for sharing HubTub! We do appreciate and look out for our neighborhood cranes!:)

HubTub on February 25, 2012:

As a native Floridian, I can definitely relate. Thank you for the beautiful hub. Voted up and awesome!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 25, 2012:

Hi Sueswan, I'm glad you enjoy the birds and the video!

Hi teaches, Christmas Eve cranes is wonderful! I'm glad you get to enjoy their visits also!

Hi Cogerson, Thanks for the comment and who could believe it's a year already?!!

Hi Suzie, American White Ibises is correct. Good memory!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 25, 2012:

Hi Nity, Thank you for reading!

Hi RTalloni, I so agree with you!

Hi techygran, I also have an 8 lb dog that runs towards them and barks, the cranes aren't effected...they carry on as usual since they are used to her and my dog is now used to them.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 25, 2012:

Hi Jackie, I'm daring...I get right up in their face to get photos, they are used to me.

Hi Nebraska, Thank you for stopping by! This hub is for you!:)

Hi Eddy, Thank you!

Suzie ONeill from Lost in La La Land on February 24, 2012:

I spent one year in southern Flordia. Our apartment complex was often visited by white cranes with slightly curved beaks. They were much smaller than the ones you discuss in this hub. I looked them up once. If I remember right they were called American White Ibises.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on February 21, 2012:

Congrats on your new accolade....can't wait to see what you do in year 2. Keep up the awesome work.

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on February 19, 2012:

Welcome back to the HubPage publishing world. Awesome photos of some very beautiful birds. Grus canadensis pratenis seem like nice neighbors to would interesting to hear at least one of their arguments. Voted up and very interesting.

Dianna Mendez on February 19, 2012:

I live in south Florida and see these birds stroll around my neighborhood often. When I moved to here years ago, I saw them on Christmas Eve and I thought it was a great present! Their colorful red heads and long bodies are something to see. I enjoyed your hub very much.

Sueswan on February 19, 2012:

Hi Sunshine,

Beautiful hub. You are lucky to have these beautiful birds in your neighbourhood.

Voted up up and away!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 17, 2012:

Lovely descriptions of this elegant bird... of course, we like to call them Canada Sandhill Cranes (heheh)-- but it does sound like they have decided to be permanent 'snowbirds' where you live, or at least just come back here to pay their taxes? Really enjoyed the little movie of their dancing... how wonderful that you get to see that up close (I don't think our little 8# dog would settle for that-- she'd find a way to get loose and chase them). Voted up!

RTalloni on February 17, 2012:

Thanks for a look at an old friend. Sandhill cranes are amazing creatures. I think they are delightfully elegant in their life's ballet. Their choreography may not be typical for most birds, but they are a wonderful example of the variety we get to enjoy in creation!

nityanandagaurang on February 17, 2012:

These bird gives feeling of naturalness to already busy life.I read first time so much about crane bird.Interesting and voting up.

Eiddwen from Wales on February 17, 2012:

One to vote up and bookmark without a doubt.

Take care


Nebraska on February 17, 2012:

Love this! And I wish I had these visitors in my neighborhood!! All I have is squirrels and wild rabbits! Thanks for sharing, and always love the pics!!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 16, 2012:

I saw a pair of these yesterday and I couldn't get to them for photos! Yours are beautiful!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 16, 2012:

Stephanie, I had no idea about the Great Backyard Bird Count! Thank you!!

Esme, Good for you! Enjoy!

Cardisa, Thank you for stopping by:)

drbj, NO pockets! Of course, that's the reason!!

Thank you all for your comments!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 16, 2012:

Audrey, I felt the same way about the yard sale. Our next community sale is March 10th. I'll take more photos!

Tammy, Thank you kindly...the scenery is actually a lake near my home. The cranes were nice enough to pose!

Moonlake, We are lucky to have such friendly, beautiful birds in our backyard.

Audra, Much appreciated!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on February 16, 2012:

These Sandhill cranes are elegant creatures, Linda, and as you pointed out, very pleasant neighbors who seldom throw loud parties. I saw a couple in the paring lot of my local supermarket. Figured out why they couldn't make a purchase. No pocket to hold a credit card!

Thanks for enhancing my Sandhill crane knowledge.

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on February 16, 2012:

Linda, what a beautiful hub and beautiful photos too. I wish I had such birds as neighbours. I love animals and they would make a wonderful addition to the family. I like the facts that you gave about them too.

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on February 16, 2012:

I really enjoyed this hub. We don't have sandhill cranes here where I live in TN but they do migrate through Reelfoot Lake west of here. Thanks for the interesting and "tongue in cheek" info.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on February 16, 2012:

I love this hub about Sandhill cranes! I never realized that they were so common in some parts of Florida, and I've only seen very few of them. Thanks for the insights into their behavior and for the great photos! Don't forget to report your sightings on Feb. 17th for the Great Backyard Bird Count! :) Voted up and tweeted!

iamaudraleigh on February 16, 2012:

Sunshine...Loved the pic of the cranes at your garage sale! Love the hub! Voted up!

moonlake from America on February 15, 2012:

We have Sandhill Cranes in the fields across the road from our house. They breed there and have their little ones with them at times. That's when we know Spring is here we hear them right away in the morning. Enjoyed your hub.

Tammy from North Carolina on February 15, 2012:

These cranes are beautiful as well as the coastal scenery. They are some beautiful creatures. I love your description of their personalities. Adorable!!

Audrey Howitt from California on February 15, 2012:

We have cranes because I live near a bird sanctuary--but nothing as interesting as this-the yard sale thing is great!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 15, 2012:

Thank you Alocsin!

That would be real cool if your geese shopped yard sales. The cranes just hang out, view the goods and chill on the lawns. Stop by anytime!:)

Thank you Vicki for stopping by and your comment!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 15, 2012:

Paula, Haha they live rent-free! No expenses for these fine-feathered friends! My 8 lb dog barks at them and the cranes just carry on. Not much bothers them. Stress free life. I enjoyed your comment!:)

Thank you Robie!:)

Sojourner McConnell from Winchester Kentucky on February 15, 2012:

I loved this hub. The Crane is such a beautiful bird and to have them in your community is just so amazing. I am glad you appreciate them. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Sondra from Neverland on February 15, 2012:

They're beautiful! I never knew cranes are so common in Florida. They're like our geese here in can see them walking in yards, down streets, on playgrounds. However I have yet to see a goose browsing the yard sales hahaha

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 15, 2012:

Those are tall birds. I'm glad that you've learned to live with them since they are fascinating. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on February 15, 2012:

How wonderfull that birds and cranes manage to live together so nicely-- what a delightful hub and I love the pictures. Just great!

Suzie from Carson City on February 15, 2012:

Linda Sue...What an adorable and "interesting" story about these pretty birds....friendly too, I see. It's amazing to know they just browse around the neighborhood as if they're socializing with the residents.

Very thoughtful of all you "humans" to be so kind and respectful of them. After all, I'm sure they pay their rent just like everyone else!! lol....Up ++

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