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Wildlife

Sandhill cranes eat and dance on farm fields near Palmer

Sandhill cranes in a farm field near Palmer on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Sandhill cranes are returning to Southcentral Alaska. Some of them nest in the area, and others are stopping to feed before continuing north to nest.

Sandhill cranes stop in the Valley to feed on their migration north. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

They nest as far north as the Brooks Range. Sandhills are ground nesters, preferring grassy marshes. They lay one to three eggs, but usually two eggs laid two or three days apart.

Sandhill cranes feed near Palmer. Pioneer Peak rises in the background. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Sandhill cranes are among the tallest birds in the world, reaching 4 feet tall, and have a wingspan up to 7 feet.

Sandhill cranes interact near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

In the spring, the cranes interact on the ground, leaping and spreading their wings.

A flock of sandhill cranes flies into a field near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Cranes feed on roots, tubers, seeds, grain, berries, frogs lemmings, small birds, frogs and earthworms.

Sandhill cranes near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
A sandhill crane walks past a reaper at a farm near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Sandhill cranes near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
A sandhill crane makes flies over a field near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Sandhill cranes feed and interact near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Sandhill cranes feed and interact in a field near Palmer. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Sandhill cranes feed near Palmer, Alaska. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

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