The Florida Sandhill Crane is one of Southwest Florida’s most beautiful birds! During wildlife tours in Florida, you’ll notice these birds stand out in freshwater marshes, prairies, and pastures because of their long necks and legs and their distinctive red, bald heads. But it’s not just their looks that make these birds interesting! Here are a few more fun facts about sandhill cranes.

Florida is Home to Two Types of Sandhill Cranes

Is that a Florida Sandhill Crane you see in the marshy waters? Or a Greater Sandhill Crane? If you take a wildlife tour during the winter in Florida, it could be either!

Florida Sandhill Cranes live in the Sunshine State year-round but in the winter, they are joined by the larger crane: the Greater Sandhill Crane! The Greater Sandhill Cranes winter in Florida but nest in the Great Lakes. During your tour, make sure to ask your guide which crane you are looking at and how they can tell the difference.

The Sandhill Crane is a Threatened Species in Florida

Sandhill Cranes are a protected species in Florida. During the 20th century degradation, habitat loss, and overhunting meant sandhill cranes populations disappeared from coastal Texas, Alabama, and southern Louisiana.

Luckily, Florida is still home to between 4,000 and 5,000 sandhill cranes, and we are working hard to protect their habitat.

You Can See Sandhill Cranes in The Wild

With 73,000 acres of wild land at Babcock Ranch, you are sure to see some amazing wildlife during your visit! Not only will you get to see sandhill cranes in their natural habitat, but you will also be able to get up close and personal with other local wildlife like wild turkeys, soft shell turtles, osprey, and more.

Babcock Ranch offers wildlife tours in Florida that the whole family can enjoy, like our 90-minute Swamp Buggy Eco Tour, free walking tours and specialty tours.

Ready to book your tour? Learn more about the tour options here!