Sandhill Cranes Flying Overhead on a January Day

Sandhill Cranes Fly Overhead
Click on the photo for a closer view.

Whenever the Sandhill Cranes fly overhead, you can hear them. But you can’t always see them. This is what they sounded like on the day that I took these pictures.

Since November I have been hearing the cranes with their distinctive call flying high over the yard.  They circle for about 15 minutes, then head in the direction of the prairie.  Yesterday, for the first time, they flew low enough that I could finally see them.

Sandhill Crane 5-string Kantele
This 5-string kantele is almost finished. Just needs the strings added! Posing with the newly opened azaleas.

The sandhill crane is an amazing bird.  Their call almost always brings a smile.  It’s great music to work to!

I’ve written about the sandhill cranes before and love to feature them on the musical instruments I make.  All of the woodburned images of cranes are based on photos I have taken.  Yesterday’s  photos were fun to take, but I’d have to be a little closer to get a photo I could use in my work!

The cranes were not in much of a formation as they circled overhead. That means they aren’t yet practiced enough to head north.  They will remain here with us for a while still.  When they are ready to head north, they have a very crisp formation and only one or two cranes are giving commands.  Today’s chatter was more like they were all saying,  “I’m so glad that rain and wind has finally stopped. I’ve been needing to fly for a few days now.”

Sandhill Cranes

My vast collection of sandhill crane photos are used for a variety of projects. The video below will give you an example of what I mean.  It was one we used to teach high school teachers and students how to create slideshows with iMovie.  As you watch it and listen carefully, you can hear the thousands of cranes out on the prairie that are calling out.  It’s quite an unbelievable chorus.

Cheers to the Sandhill Cranes!


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