Contortionist crane at work
Local photographer 'Cis' Ramsdell found this sandhill crane out in East Gull lake at the end of August. Taking notice of this bird's contortionist abilities, 'Cis' mentions, "That long beak comes in handy for grooming!"
According to information on the Minnesota DNR's website ( https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/birds/sandhillcrane.html ), the sandhill crane is among Minnesota's largest bird species, standing about five feet tall and having a wingspread of nearly seven feet.
The fillowing facts are also taken forom the DNR website:
- Sandhills are birds of wet meadows and open landscapes. They migrate south for the winter.
- Sandhills eat a variety of animals including frogs, small mammals, insects, and snakes, and also, small grains such as oats and wheat.
- Adults weigh five to eight pounds. Mainly gray in color, except for a white face and distinctive red crown. The young are brown.
- Because the sandhill is so large and formidable, few predators even try to catch one. Tough predators like great-horned owls may try for a young sandhill.
- Sandhill cranes are a protected species in Minnesota, but it is legal to hunt them in part of northern Minnesota during the sandhill crane hunting season each year.