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Sandhill Cranes Rattling Bugle Calls

Starting in mid March the sounds of sandhill cranes audibly announce the transition to spring here in Bozeman.

While bicycling north of Bozeman (near Spring Hill Community) we spotted two sandhill Cranes feasting on seeds left behind from the fall harvest. We listened to their characteristic long, rattling bugle calls, each vibrato "squawk" lasting a couple of seconds.

Sandhill Cranes have an elegance that draws attention. I cannot help but stop, watch and listen to these tall, gray-bodied birds. I'm attracted to their long legs, delicate and strong flight feathers and their crimson-capped heads. Where were they before they arrived in Bozeman? Maybe this pair spent time with a half million other sandhill cranes on Nebraska’s Platte River?

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