Finding Sandhill Cranes
On our way South through Florida we happened on a beautiful Art Museum by the lake at Eustis with a mural of Sandhill Cranes by Kace Montgomery. We loved their elegance, their red caps and hoped we would see some live versions on our trip. While in Clearwater Lake in the Ocala National Forest, we heard a very strange call, but found it difficult to identify the bird. After much web searching, we found the sound to belong to a Sandhill Crane, however, still no sign of the bird itself.
Walking around Mount Dora, we drifted into an artists store and met and loved talking to Bev Neal. Her main focus has become limited edition custom artwork for bicycle jerseys but we commented on a picture of a Sandhill Crane. She told us that there were several cranes in her community and shared with us how to find them. Although Colin was reluctant to take the long drive, Cheryl persevered and we drove to Leesburg, FL. where we found the community which had many lakes and wetland areas. After several hours with no sign of the birds, the light was beginning to fade so we were almost ready to give up. Luckily on the way out towards the gates, we spotted a crane in between the van and one of the lakes. It turned out to be a pair and they gave us a wonderful display rewarding our patience.
Click on map below to see larger version
Crane Lcation, Leesburg, FL