Migrating Sandhill Cranes

For the last couple of days, Sandhill Cranes have been migrating north and flying over Edmonton. The flocks are so large there must be thousands in each of them.

Sandhill Cranes Migration Photo by DaleATL2 from PxHere

I don’t have the right equipment to get a photo because they fly so high up in the sky and far beyond the capability of my camera. Fortunately, others have been able to take some pictures that I have included here.



The birds fill so much of the sky that photographs cannot do justice to the scene. Imagine turning your head to your far left and then turning to look to your far right and seeing cranes in the entire view of the sky.

Sandhill Cranes
Sandhill Cranes via PXhere

Also, the sound they make is very distinctive. Even though they are so far aloft,  collectively they make a very loud noise. It’s a bit like the sound of geese, but different. You can hear them on the website for the National Parks Service Natural Sounds.

Here is a map of the migration route provided by allaboutbirds.org.

Sandhill Crane Range Map


  1. Where are they coming from, as in where do they spend the winter months? And, how far north do they now go? What a wondrous sight. I must admit that “sandhill”somehow sounds rather beach-like! Thank you Anne.

  2. The Map is fascinating! What a territory they cover. And I had never seen a sandhill crane before this! Really learned a lot thus far today!

  3. I think I saw some snow geese flying overhead one day. Sounded a bit like Canada Geese, but they were almost pure white. Nice to see.

  4. It please me greatly that these beauties get everyone in neighbourhood out of their houses and looking up! It’s always such a gift to watch them fly by ❤

  5. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. My mom lived in the little strip in Nebraska on your migrating map that is labeled a “key stopover site”. The kids and I used to visit her on our Spring Break, and we would drive down the road to see the sandhill cranes feed in the morning, or to the river in the evening to watch them return. It is an amazing sight, and the sounds they make are unique and fun to hear. My mom died 11 years ago and I haven’t returned to that spot since. Maybe when we are traveling again….

    • I moved to Edmonton in 2014 and really like the community. In normal circumstances I would be enjoying all the festivals and family-friendly events.

      Thank you for following my blog. It means a lot to me that you and so many others hit that “follow” button.

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