A daily journal concerning Lake Vermilion and surrounding areas.
Selected real estate, notes, stories, musings, and anecdotes.

July 16, 2009

Big birdsBig Birds.

If you know my Missus then you know my Missus would tell you that I’m a pretty attentive driver.

Pretty. Attentive. Driver.

Attentive, that is, to everything except what may be on the road directly ahead.

Well, luckily, she wasn’t with me when, while traveling one of the numerous quality county roads in the Lake Vermilion area, I had a “What the heck is that?” type of observation.

So… what do you think? What kind of birds are those?

I checked WhatBird.com and I stumped their pretty-darn-cool process-of-elimination bird identifier. Are these 3 feet tall, long-legged, field foragers native creatures or has some local resident packed them here from some land down under?

If anyone has a guess please reply via the comment link below. (You can reply anonymously.)

Thanks much!


The consensus tells us these are Sandhill Cranes!

The ol’ Peterson’s Field Guide illustrates a Sandhill Crane that, color-wise, does not match those in the photo. The reference photos I viewed showed a Sandhill Crane that looked like this. They, apparently, can also make themselves look like this. And here’s how:

“They frequently preen with vegetation and mud that is stained with iron oxide resulting in a reddish brown color rather than their natural gray.”

Thanks much for the input!


  1. The birds are Sandhill Cranes. I'm very surprised they don't have a youngster or two at this time of the year.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 17, 2009 @ 9:12 am

  2. Yup, Sand Hill cranes.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 17, 2009 @ 7:32 pm

  3. I would take the "ol Peterson's Field Guide and place it in the nearest outhouse for, perhaps, a better use. Picture 1 is the endangered "Whooping Crane". Picture 2 is the natural color of every single Sandhill Crane I ever saw and I see lots of them every spring.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 18, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  4. Correction: Whooping crane adults are white. The picture 1 is indeed a "clean" sandhill crane. Sorry about that. Tough to make to many mistakes since there are only 2 cranes in all of N. America.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 18, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

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