For the past week or so, Sanford has played host to a couple of winged wanderers from the north and west who appear to have lost their way and wound up hanging out with us for a while; Grus canadensis, Sandhill crane.
We've only encountered this very large migratory species once before, on a visit to the Yellowstone Park area back in the days before Jay and Hunter came into the world, so to experience a visit from these amazing birds without having to leave Lee County was quite extraordinary.
Their spring migration north from Florida, Texas and Mexico typically follows a more westerly route, usually skirting the borders of North Carolina entirely, but occasionally over-flying the extreme southwestern tip of the state in the Cherokee area, on their way up to their summer breeding grounds.
We may never discover exactly what brought this handsome pair to our neck of the woods, but we are grateful for the opportunity to sit with them a while, and we managed to assemble quite a collection of photos, more of which we'll share with you once we sort through them all.
In the meantime, if you've never seen, or perhaps even heard of, a Sandhill crane, take a moment to Google them and learn more about these remarkable visitors of ours.
Fare thee well, Sandhill cranes...