Sandhill Crane lovers in The Villages look forward to seeing babies this time of year

Snowbirds heading north will miss something year-round Villagers have come to love, the birth and toddler days of baby Sandhill Cranes.

Although some start breeding at two years of age, Sandhill Cranes may reach the age of seven before breeding. They mate for life—which can mean two decades or more—and stay with their mates year-round.

Sandhill Crane checking her eggs in The Villages.

Sandhill Crane checking her eggs in The Villages.

Sandhill Cranes build their nests from the dominant vegetation—such as cattails, sedges, burr reeds, bulrushes, or grasses—using dried plant materials early in the season and adding green materials later on. To a foundation of larger materials they add a cup-shaped hollow lined with smaller stems or twigs. Both mates may gather material, tossing it over their shoulders to form a mound. The female is usually the one to stand on the mound and arrange the material. Nests may be 30-40 inches across and 4-6 inches high; those built over water are larger than those built on dry land.

Villages photographer Ron Clark has spent hours watching Sandhill Cranes and captured this amazing video in The Villages:

Baby Sandhill Cranes showing off for the camera.

Baby Sandhill Cranes showing off for the camera.

Sandhill Crane chicks can leave the nest within 8 hours of hatching, and are even capable of swimming.

Juveniles stick close by their parents for 9 or 10 months after hatching. They then leave to make a life of their own.

And fortunately for Villagers who love watching Sandhill Cranes, the story starts all over again.

Sandhill Cranes and chicks entertaining a group in The Villages.

Sandhill Cranes and chicks entertaining a group in The Villages.

A Sandhill Crane teaches a chick to fly.

A Sandhill Crane teaches a chick to fly.

SPONSORED STORIES

Hiers Baxley - Villages News

Latest News

Kristin and Mark Steven Schmidt were married in December.

Love story began with first glance

This is a Villages’ love story that began on a Savannah Center stage. Two years ago, Dr. Kristin Miller and Mark Steven Schmidt were rehearsing the “Starry Starry Night” … Read More

Read More News...

Opinions

Barry Evans

Why loud music?

Earlier this week The Blonde in the house and I went to see one of our favorite groups from when we were young.  We realized that it would … Read More

Entertainment

Heidis Haven - Villages News

Comments

  1. Marilyn Gagen says

    Babies follow mom and dad, sometimes they wonder in the streets,so I beg everyone, drive a little Slower, and stop, put on your hazard warning signals, and be patient while they cross the road. Since we are Retired we should not be in such a hurry that we can’t allow these beautiful birds an opportunity to share the road.

  2. Ellen Cora says

    Thank you for this article and precious video. We LOVE the sand hill cranes — and also Ron Clark’s amazing photography.

    We need to know about crimes (and felons) in the area — to better protect ourselves — but we definitely need more articles like this — about our beautiful surroundings, charities and the good people in The Villages. We are so blessed to live here. THANKS AGAIN.

  3. Laurie Dennison says

    I absolutely love the sand cranes & their babies. They always make me smile. Thanks for some basic info about them & to Ron Clark for the video & wonderful pictures.

Leave a Reply