Tag Archives: Birds of Florida

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time. This post was originally written on another blog site several years ago. I thought it was cute and thought I would re-share on WordPress.

Shayna was a kitten (SPCA Suncoast alumni) back a few years ago. And, there were many firsts for her. It was fun watching her react to them. She discovered all kinds of weird and wonderful things; now, of course, they are simply the known and familiar so she sleeps through it all.

We always have a Sandhill Crane family or two around so every year we see them with their youngsters. The Sandhill Crane family includes Mom, Dad and 2 kids wandering around the Timber Greens golf course. One day, Shayna and the Sandhills got up close and personal. Maybe it’s not only beauty that is in the eye of the beholder? 

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time.

Shayna: Whoa, what are those really strange creatures? And why are they coming over here?

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Shayna: They are so weird looking.

Papa Sandhill Crane: She thinks WE’RE weird looking? Somebody get this kitten a mirror!

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Sandhill Cranes are about 3-4 feet tall when fully grown. The families stay together and usually have 2 babies. Mom and Dad split the child-rearing duties between them. Sandhill Cranes mate for life and if one dies or is killed crossing the busy roads around here, the other mourns for a few weeks by making very loud calls and wandering all over looking for the missing one. If a baby is lost/killed, the whole remaining family mourns.

Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time

Babies are born with bright yellow feathers and after a couple of months go brown, then develop the gray coloration like their parents; except for the red spot on the head. That doesn’t show until they are 8-9 months old. They grow rapidly from tiny bundles of fluff, and babies stay with the parents until they can fly which takes about 8 or 9 months.

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Kitten Meets Sandhill Cranes First Time