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Two rare, adult sandhill cranes share a marsh with other, smaller wading birds (last photo). Interestingly, birds nesting in MS, FL, and Cuba don't participate in migration. Migrating populations have feathers of a more earthy color, almost ochre, instead of the gray pictured.
Seen in a pristine, estuarine area of Crystal River Preserve State Park, FL.
The Florida sandhill crane was recently denied protection from the Endangered Species Act after thorough review, although only about 5000 individuals exist in the wild: https://www.fws.gov/southeast/news/2018/...
Spotted on Dec 18, 2017
Submitted on Mar 17, 2019