Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes Grus canadensis
Waterloo County, ON
10 June 2014

    In the vicinity of Grass Lake in the very southern part of Waterloo County (in fact where it abuts Brant County) a number of Sandhill Cranes have bred in recent years. This stately bird finds suitable habitat and an abundance of food, and has been faithful to the area each year.
    Miriam and I travelled down there to see whether we could find a few and were well rewarded as the pictures below will illustrate. Even for a bird so tall, the equally tall grasses and other vegetative cover can render them almost impossible find at this time of year, without a good helping of luck, and some persistent searching. 
    This time all we needed was luck for we spotted a pair almost as soon as we arrived. In fact they had a chick, although we didn't see it, but were shown pictures by a photographer already there.

    In the pictures below it appeared to us that the adults were trying to show their offspring a way through the fence, since they poked their heads through the wire without even coming close to getting stuck. They did this repeatedly but, if indeed they were trying to coax the chick through, they had no success and ultimately wandered back into the grassland.

    In a nearby marsh, Red-winged Blackbirds Agelaius phoeniceus were finding an abundance of caterpillars, high protein fare so essential to the development of their young.

    Male Savannah Sparrows Passerculus sandwichensis, fuelled by a surge in testosterone, were singing from every prominent perch it seemed, anxious to attract a mate and defend their territories. 

    There were other species to round out the time spent there, but the highlight without a doubt was the Sandhill Cranes, and we returned home well satisfied with our excursion. 


  1. Sounds like a satisfying trip. I must look up the height for Sandhill Cranes.

  2. Grus canadensis - this is a very beautiful and stately bird.
    Great shots, David :-)
    Best regards

  3. Beautiful photos of these different birds, David.
    All perfectly photographed.
    Greetings Irma

  4. Nice pictures! We sometimes see them or more commonly hear that around here, but never that close.

  5. Your story about the owl made me laugh out loud. Afraid I'm not a cat person and it's hard for me think of a better meal for a Gt Horned Owl.

    Maybe those cranes will have to wait until Junior can fly across the fence?

    I think I'll have to go and find the Red-winged Blackbirds' calls online while I stare at your photos. Such a wonderful bird in all ways.

  6. Wonderful sighting indeed, David, it is a gorgeous species!
    I only saw crane in Africa, but not same ones!!
    Lucky you saw this pair in the tall grass...
    I will send you an e-mail today!
    For now, I will go down '"Travel with bird's" lane to discover what other beauties you've posted!! ; -)

  7. I think it's so nice that there are all over eht buitenalnd those beautiful colored birds. In you I see the cranes with a red cap but a blackbird with red feathers in his wings. Really great to see David! We just all black blackbirds (male) blackbirds and brown (female).

  8. Those Sandhill Cranes do look rather majestic, David. Beautifully captured by your lens (and the fence!).

    Had to check where Phil's comment about the Great horned Owl came from - it would certainly leave me with mixed emotions!

  9. Splendour pictures and what are those cranes beautiful!!
    Greetings Tinie

  10. De magnifiques clichés, c'est splendide. Ces oiseaux sont tellement gracieux.
    Bonne journée