It Was Raining Sandhill Cranes


It was raining sandhill cranes. For a short time in mid-November, flocks and flocks of these magnificent birds flew into and out of the cornfields and marshes of northern Indiana. They gathered, gabbed, danced, ate and rested before flying away like kites in the sky to continue their southerly winter migration. Consolidating into V-shaped flying formations these awe inspiring fliers reached thousands of feet into the sky.

Sandhill cranes are stately birds, easily identified by their bulky bodies, tapering necks and long legs. Their bills are longer than their head which make it easy for them to forage the ground for grains and invertebrates. Mainly gray, sandhill cranes are dappled with rust coloring and have a prominent red crown on top of their heads.

Sandhill cranes fly in a V-formation formation across a darkening cloud filled sky.
Displaying its slate gray and rusty colors, red crown and tail feathers that form a “bustle”, this sandhill crane struts across a recently plowed corn field in search of food.
As storm clouds approach on a cool autumn day, several sandhill cranes prepare for fight into an ominous sky.
Sandhills fly overhead as a farmer plows his fields during the autumn harvest.

It was a sight to behold as thousands of sandhill cranes flew overhead announcing their arrival and departure with a distinctive rattling call “kar-r-r-r-o-o-o”.