Wild Things: Listen and Look for Migrating Sandhill Cranes
For many, nothing marks the transition from fall to winter more than the annual migration of thousands of sandhill cranes. Each winter, they fly through DuPage County and its forest preserves en route to their wintering grounds in Florida. If you listen closely you can hear them as they fly overhead in large flocks.
Sandhill cranes are the most common of all the world's cranes. The large birds are normally gray and their heads are topped with a crimson crown. Their wingspan is five to six feet. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between sandhill cranes and herons is to remember that herons fly with their necks curved and cranes fly with their necks straight.
To see a pair of sandhill cranes, visit the outdoor exhibit at our Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn.
District ranger David Sima talks about how to catch the sandhill crane migration on Wild Things on WDCB Radio (90.9 FM).
More information about pileated woodpeckers in our preserves can be found in this press release.