Already this year I did several sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis) posts. Although I do not like to repeat a species too often, a sandhill crane recently exhibited unusual behavior that has us wondering.
Leonard and I were hiking in Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Lassen County CA) when a lone sandhill crane calmly crossed our path. The crane moved about 30 feet away and began to walk beside the trail parallel to us. It kept moving at our pace and stayed with us for at least a quarter mile, calmly walking and never making any sound. When we came to a juncture in the trail, the crane called several times then stood still as we moved on.
The crane was alone and did not appear to be trying to divert us from a nearby nest. It simply seemed to be going for a walk with us.
We have no explanation for the actions of this magnificent bird. But Leonard and I were delighted to have a hiking companion for a short while. Any ideas?