Greater Sandhill Crane

The Greater Sandhill Crane has very large wings than can span over two metres. This means that they are able to soar in the air for a many hours with very little wing flapping needed, just like eagles do. This helps a lot for their very long migration route from Alaska to California.  

Like humans, these birds are omnivorous. In and around Burns Bog, the Sandhill Crane eats things like insects, berries, small mammals (such as voles and shrews), amphibians (such as frogs), and grains on nearby farm fields. 

You can visit these birds up close and personal at the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island in Delta. There are a couple of resident cranes who stay in the sanctuary all year round, instead of migrating south for the winter. They sometimes walk around on the trails, and you can go right up and say hello. Just be careful not to get too close, because those beaks are sharp and they move fast!