Sandhill Crane Migration

We live beneath a Sandhill Crane flyway and have been waiting for their trumpets to sound this year.  So far, we haven’t heard any although some may have flown over while we were asleep or otherwise engaged.  But it may be a little early.  We didn’t hear the first until October 27th last year.

But they are on their way.  The USGS has satellite transmitters on at least three this year.  They left Alaska and are at least as far south as the state of Washington.  You can follow their progress on the USGS crane migration page and other birds on the main page.

You can also follow their migration here.  We’ll report when we hear the first.  It is one of the autumn rites of passage that make up for the absence of Hummingbirds and the coming of winter.


Sally King was the photographer.

Tags: , , ,

15 Responses to “Sandhill Crane Migration”

  1. Belita Says:

    I just wanted to say that we believe we saw three of these creatures on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada last Friday, July 31st, 2009, as they flew over us while driving on top of a hill, just beside the farm land where they landed and fed for quite a while.
    At first, we thought they were blue herons but also knew that they usually fly around water.
    After searching on the internet, we’re pretty convinced that they had to be sandhilll cranes. They were pretty noisy as they landed on the farm field.


  2. Jeanine McCole Says:

    My husband and I were driving past a cemetery in the Libertyville, IL,
    area and spotted three sandhill cranes ‘grazing’ in the cemetery . We
    saw them on September 4 and 5th in the afternoon. Today , the 6th,
    we couldn’t find them. We will try again but they have probably
    moved on. We felt so fortunate to have seen them!

  3. Ken McKay Says:

    Hey, I just got back from my hunting trip near McLeese Lake B.C. Canada. There were hundreds of cranes migrating through there heading south. Their flyway was off their usual route by close to twenty miles. Most impressive with their constant “cackling” we would here them long before we would see them and then we had to really strain to see them as they were so high. Some usually groups of six would land near the farm we stayed at for an evening, then would leave and join larger flights in the morning. All this took place from Oct. 1 2009 through to Oct. 10 2009. We had daily sightings in this span.


    we are getting a new library and it will be called SANDHILL LIBRARY.IN SILVER SPRINGS FLORIDA.
    We have several sets of Sandhill Cranes that live here year round.I am going to make some bookmarkers for our grand opening in the spring .So I am peeking around to learn more. I do some of my sketching in my daughters yard where they often visit the wild bird seeds thrown out
    for the many fur and feather critters.Most enjoyable to watch.
    best wishes to all,enjoy the creators gifts.May the song birds sing in your honor.

  5. Harvey Eidenberg Says:

    A family of 4 sandhill cranes permanently reside at our pond in DeBary, FL, a N.E. Orlando suburb. We walk up to them, quite face-to-face. They watch us carefully, but do not move, whether at the pond, or on the sidewalk in front of the house. In the morning, their echoing honks trumpet across the pond. They’ll occasionally hang out on the other side of our swimming pool screen, and appear to be watching us admiring them! Amazing, gorgeous, TALL birds.

  6. mia Says:

    I saw a sandhill crane at my friend’s house.

  7. Kimberly Says:

    I live in Lubbock TX and there are thousands here in the fields surrounding our farm house …I read that they are migrating here from Canada… Spectacular sight!

    • fatfinch Says:

      Hi Kimberly -This time of the year the ones in your field are probably headed north, back to Canada. Be sure to watch and listen when they take off. It’s spectacular. If there is food for them in your field, they’ll probably stop by again next year.

  8. Jo Says:

    The Sandhill cranes flew over Naperville Ill yesterday, March 16, 2010
    It’s Spring again!!!

  9. Susan Schroeder Says:

    For the past two days (September 23 and 24, 2010) flocks of what I think are cranes have passed over our valley (Okanogan County in north central Washington State). I am not an expert but I am guessing they must be sandhill cranes. They don’t honk like geese, but have a soft trilling or warbling sound. Beautiful. I have seen small groups of three and large groups of at least 30. My binoculars aren’t strong enough to see clearly but they are mostly white or beige with long outstretched necks and legs in flight. Can someone identify for me?

  10. SIDETH.COM Says:

    I just want to say thanks for the great article.

  11. john huff Says:

    Saw 2 sandhills flying north over Chelsea, Quebec today.



  12. Steve Secord Says:

    Just saw a Sandhill crane fly over! Fonthill Ontario, Canada.

    5:20 p.m. EST March 1, 2011.

    p.s. this is not an April fools joke!

    large, long bird with outstretched neck, and legs, brownish head ( way bigger than a Blue Heron)

  13. Steve Secord Says:

    April 1,2011………sorry about the date!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: