Today I looked out of our dinning room patio doors to see this sight. A Florida Sandhill Crane.
Not wishing to frighten the bird I took a few photos through the glass (and also the screening of the patio), so unfortunately the pictures are not very good.
In the dark photo below I took the picture from another window and you can see how the bird towers above the top of our patio table, which is the dark mass in front of the crane.
They are big birds and this one was with a mate, probably a female as she seemed to be busy preening for the camera.
Now that she has all her feathers in place she poses and looks directly at the camera.
Here's a few facts about our Sandhill Cranes:
Males and females look alike, males are larger than the females.
Height 2.6 to 3.9 feet (80 to 120 cm)
Average weight males 10.1 lb (4.57 kg) females 8.9 lb (4.02 kg)
Wing span 5.4 to 6.9 feet (1.65 to 2.1 m)
For years now I've been hoping that Santa will bring me a new camera, one that I could capture decent photos of the wildlife that frequent our rural area. But each Christmas all I get is a lump of coal. Guess I need to start being nicer and a lot less naughty.
Later in the day the Sandhill couple decided to visit our neighbor's yard, perhaps they were expecting to visit with the Canadian Geese who've been away for awhile now . . . We think they went to visit relatives in Canada for the Summer.
Since this is a far as the zoom on my Mickey Mouse camera will get me (and I have cropped the photos as close as I could before they got too grainy) I found a photo online that allows one permission to use its images freely. The photo below is a magnificent one of a Sandhill Crane and its chick. The little ones are so adorable. :)
Photo from the files of Wikimedia Commons
The Photographer is Dawn Huczek