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Sandhill Cranes

I live on 5 acres on Fla. We have several sandhill cranes who live on our property. How can I tell who is male & who is female? Lately there have been a group of 3 (2 w/ red on their heads & a smaller one w/ no red) who walk around together and another pair (both w/red on their heads) who travel together. These 2 groups will frequently fuss at each other in my pasture with the group of 3 running the other 2 off. What is going on? They all like to call vigorously especially the 2 larger of the 3. And they flap their wings at each other & chase each other. We enjoy watching them, but do not know what we are watching. Can you tell us?

Birding Expert - George H. Harrison

The sandhills with the red caps are adults, those without are juveniles. There is no visual difference between male and female sandhills, but the females give a higher, longer call than the males. There are apparently two families of sandhills on your property, and the one pair with the youngster have established their territory on your land, and the others are trying to intrude. That's why they are being run off. It's all healthy behavior. GHH

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