Unusual Behavior

Sandhill Crane

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?

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6 Responses to Unusual Behavior

  1. Lin Erickson says:

    Could there have been a predator in the area undetected by you…perhaps you provided protection for the crane?


    • gingkochris says:

      An interesting supposition: That area of the wildlife area is quite open and I doubt Leonard and I would miss a predator as we are continually scanning in search of wildlife. Probably coyotes and mountain lions are the only danger around there for an adult sandhill crane.


  2. Betty Daniels says:

    I can only leave a smart mouth, but my truthful reply, the crane had an instinct that the two of you are good people, and wanted to share the trail with you. Nature instinct is usually never wrong.


    • gingkochris says:

      Thanks, Betty. Leonard and I treat all animals with respect and sometimes I really do think they understand that we are not going to harm them.


  3. kfbenjamin says:

    What a great experience. Can’t imagine the reason for that, but I would have loved it.


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