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Leaping with Sandhill Cranes

One of nature’s most memorable anthems!

With a graceful leap, wings outstretched, Sandhill Cranes welcome the longer days. The stately cranes are courting, renewing an annual dance they perform in earnest as the days lengthen into spring. Sandhill Crane pairs remain together for life, and their spirited dance plays an essential role in reaffirming this bond. Watch a video of their courtship dance.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Leaping Sandhill Cranes

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!

[Large flock of Sandhill Cranes calling loudly]

In the rosy glow of a sunrise on a Southwestern marsh, a pair of Sandhill Cranes calls in unison. With a graceful leap, wings outstretched, the two cranes welcome the last days of February. [Sandhill Crane pair calls]

The stately cranes are courting, renewing an annual dance they perform in earnest as the days lengthen into spring. The dance begins with a downward bow, the cranes’ long, slender bills nearly touching the ground. Then, like enormous marionettes pulled deftly upward, the cranes leap several feet off the ground, wings outstretched. Bowing and leaping, raising and lowering their wings, the cranes dance on as the sun rises. 

[Sandhill Crane pair calls]

Sandhill Crane pairs remain together for life, and their spirited dance plays an essential role in reaffirming this bond. The cranes’ exquisite dance complements beautifully their rich, rolling calls - one of nature’s most memorable anthems. [Large flock of Sandhill Cranes calling]

The elegant Sandhills will leap and dance a few days more, before migrating north to nest.

You can see a video of Sandhill Cranes in their courtship dance, on our website, BirdNote.org. I’m Mary McCann.                

                                                                            ###

Bird sounds provided by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Calls of huge flocks of Sandhill Cranes [2761] recorded by A.A. Allen; calls of pair of Sandhill Cranes [120249] recorded by G.A. Keller.

BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org  February 2014  Narrator: Mary McCann   

ID# 2008-02-29-SACR-01   SACR-01b

comments 2Show

I can listen to the 2 minute bird note sound track but how do I view it? I looked in iTunes but it will not open there. Any suggestions?
Thank you.

Hi Carla. I'd love to help you out but I don't know what you want to do. These are audio programs: there is no video. If you are looking for the video of Sandhill Cranes dancing that we mentioned in our broadcast, look for the link under "Related Resourced". Any other questions, send us a note to info@birdnote.org.

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