Sandhill cranes are about 4 feet tall, with a wingspan of over 6 feet. They are real beauties. The mating pair both take care of the chicks. They use their sharp beak to probe for seeds and other food. I was very surprised to see a male use his beak to dig into the ground to get a mole. I wish he would have taken care of all of the moles in the grass.
The giant birds are not very bashful. I have seen them come right up to people. However, it is not wise to try to feed them from your hand; they have been know to strike with that sharp beak. It has the power to penetrate a human skull.
As with all wildlife it is best to observer from a safe distance.
Parents herding the chicks together
Getting food for the chicks
Looking for snacks
C'mon Mom hurry up
The birds don’t bother to stop for traffic and are often killed by cars.
If you come upon a road sign warning of cranes, please slow down and be aware the birds may be present.