Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mating Dance for the Birds

Every year we get to see a family of Sand Hill Cranes behind our home. A male and female and their offspring walk and squawk around the golf course pond.

This week we had a real treat when a pair did their mating dance for us immediately behind our house. Fortunately, my wife and I were photographing them as they got into the dancing mood.

These are good sized birds, three to four feet tall with wingspans of five to seven feet! They seem unconcerned as they walk around, often coming quite close. If you walk towards them, they will back away or fly off.

Several minutes after we went out to see them and take some photos, they began weaving their bills towards each other and jumping and charging in a very impressive mating dance!

(Or perhaps it was merely a domestic dispute? :^)

Quite impressive!

[Click on photos to make them larger.]

Ira Glickstein

1 comment:

Stu Denenberg said...

Interesting posting in that Claire and I recently stopped at Jasper Pulaski state park in Indiana on the way out to Iowa to view the annual congregation of the sand hill cranes on their winter migration --- it's quite an exerience to see 10,000 of them coming in for landings or lifting off flapping and squawking.

We were told however, the cranes we saw in Indiana are different from the Florida ones. Apparently the Floridian cranes do not migrate but stay in the sunshine state year round (retired perhaps?)