The drumming itself is a rapid, wing-beating display that creates a low frequency sound, starting slow and speeding up (thump...thump...thump..thump-thump-thump-thump). Even in thick woods this can be heard for a quarter mile or more
The Sandhill Crane is a summer resident in Michigan. They are among the first birds to return in mid February in the southern parts of the state and a month later in the northern areas. Once almost completely gone from Michigan waters, the Sandhill Cranes are now flourishing and have become a popular sight around our lakes.
Cranes live about 25 to 30 years and wait to choose a mate until thy're 4-years old. Crane families stay together for awhile, then young birds begin to hang out together in groups of 20, called a "bachelor flock."
When sandhill cranes are ready to mate, they begin a unique courtship ritual that starts with bowing and jumping movements that increase in tempo until the whole flock is dancing.
While they dance, the pair lets out a series of loud calls. The male utters a note followed quickly by the female's two-note answer. Sometimes you can hear them from 2 miles away on quiet spring mornings.
Joshua Chrisman (Creator and Admin of Michigan's Wildlife on www.facebook.com/
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