The sandhill cranes are back, not to nest - the lake level is too high for that - but to visit the birdfeeders and poke around the ground in search of fallen seeds.
Almost every day, sandhill cranes arrive. Sometimes just one crane. Other times, a couple. On one occasion, two pairs arrived separately until the second arrivals chased the first pair away. I guess Ralph and I aren't the only ones with territorial feelings about the property.
I took this picture yesterday of one crane making what looks like a squawking motion with its mouth.
Sandhill cranes often open their mouths to bellow at other cranes flying overhead but they're usually looking skyward at the time. This crane wasn't looking skyward and wasn't even making a discernible sound. It might have been yawning or just stretching its jawbones. Or maybe it was trying to get my attention. If that was the case, it succeeded. I was totally riveted.