Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 30, 2009

Sandhill Cranes

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 6:00 am

We have some “fine feathered friends” that visit us.  They never come in the house, and we don’t plan to invite them.  However, we are happy when they come walking down the middle of the street.  It is a sight.  Standing erect they walk down the middle of the street as if they were neighbors going for a stroll. They will walk into the front yard and around to the back yard.  Sometimes they fly in and land in the yard.  Their purpose is always to find something different to eat from their normal habitat at the lake.                                                     

These special friends are Sandhill Cranes.  They are a joy to have as our guest.  They are cautious, but not frightened, when we go into the yard.  They will take turns acting  as a sentinel as if to warn the rest of the family if we should become aggressive.  It even appears that they enjoy my moving around with the camera to take their photograph.

These long-legged, long-necked heron-like birds have a patch of bald, red skin on the top of their heads.  They fly  with their necks outstretched with powerful, rhythmic wing beats. You can hear them approaching and you can hear them when they depart.  They have a voice that is most distinctive.  Sometimes it is described as a trumpet sound and can be heard for a long distance.  They can stand as tall as four feet and have a wing span of 6-8 feet.  They move in small family groups, and can live beyond 20 years.

One of the most notable characteristics of these special birds is that they mate for life.  They are monogamous by nature.  Nature has so many lessons for us if we are attentive.  There are characteristics in many of God’s creations that seem to illustrate God’s design for man.  These birds are a reminder of God’s intention from creation that we are to be monogamous.  This is in no way to make judgements on many who have suffered a broken relationship.  There are many who believe and accept God’s plan, but it was beyond their power to maintain the monogamous relationship. I am speaking only of a reminder of God’s plan for mankind.

The cranes are also a strong family unit.  Both the male and female take responsibility for feeding the young.  It takes several weeks for the young to learn to fly, and the parents confine themselves to being earthbound until the young can fly. They stay close to protect the young.  To prepare  for  flying, the young start by learning to dance as the adults do. Dancing is considered normal for the Sandhill Crane.  It includes jumping, running, wing flapping, bowing, and sometimes tossing a stick into the air.  Some believe that the dancing also may help relieve stress and aggression, or increase the strength of the bond between a pair.  (Guess that gives purpose to dancing!)  Certainly here is another lesson we learn from these creatures.  Parenthood requires the surrender of some freedoms, and the limitations, placed upon the cranes by themselves to protect the young, reminds all parents of the commitment of love.  Both the father and mother dedicate themselves to training and preparing their offspring for life in the world.  What a lesson for all of us!

I do wish you could have the joy of seeing these beautiful creatures.  They have been a gift to us, and we always look forward to their visits. And we see them as a reminder of God’s constant Word to us.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”  (Genesis 2:24)

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)



1 Comment »

  1. Thank you Pastor, I am so glad to hear others who appreciate God’s lessons through his creatures. I emailed your post to my cousin in Ga. Her husband was a teacher in Zephyrhills, then they moved to ga. where he was a wildlife biologist. He retired, but still writes for Ga. Wildlife. He also writes for the local paper and is a great photographer and does programs all over Ga. with power point using his own photos. Johnny loves to go with him all over the forest and parks when we go there. Johnny is fascinated by trees and observes things that Terry misses because he’s so into birds and butterflies.

    The other thing I didn’t tell you about the cranes is that the mama was in the edge of the lake and kept tossing stems up on shore next to the baby. Johnny went down the next day and she had tossed them as tho she were going to build a nest. She spent the longest time doing that. I still wonder if she was being an example for her little one as it was too small for her to be thinking of building a next. (The other thing is in the beginning they had two babies. Then one day, one was gone. After we observed them that day a couple of days later that baby was gone and they seemed so lost, then they began to fly again. I still wonder what may have gotten them. We have seen bob cats cross there, and there are hogs that have been next door in their woods, but don’t have any signs they were here, and we hear coyotes at night. But, for sure it wasn’t because they were not deligent, and I’m sure just as people, they will learn from this, instinct….or Wisdom from God who created them?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by D. White — April 13, 2011 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

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