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Sandhill Crane Images

Sandhill Cranes

At the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, B.C., there are five beautiful Sandhill Cranes in residence. Unlike most of their species, these particular cranes do not migrate. This is likely due to the fact that there are many visitors to the refuge in every season, and it is customary for visitors to take bags of grains to feed the various birds. As the avian population is very large in this particular location, there is never a shortage of eager beaks to feed.

The Sandhill Cranes are fairly used to humans and are a big attraction for the refuge. They are a little shy, but with some patience and time, they will come to eat from your hand. If you are lucky enough to spend any amount of time with these beautiful birds, you will discover that they do recognize individuals of the human kind. I have been lucky enough to become fairly well acquainted with them, and have observed a distinct difference in their behaviour towards me, as opposed to visitors that they do not know. I do not know if it is visual or voice recognition, since I usually get closely inspected before they approach, but have also had them come to the sound of my voice.

In breeding season, however, there are signs all over the place warning people about the cranes. Apparently they become quite aggressive and territorial. This includes attacking any human they feel is infringing on their privacy. I have not witnessed this myself, but have been told of various encounters from other visitors. At four feet tall with a needle sharp bill, along with a seven foot wingspan, this is not the kind of bird to take lightly.


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