Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

March 1, 2013

Sandhill Cranes

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

(My granddaughter and I were talking about some Sandhill Cranes this morning.  I began to tell her something about them.  As a result, I decided to repost an old blog concerning these birds.)

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.

Cranes 078These 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)



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