Sandhill cranes are large, iconic birds known for their long legs, necks, and loud calls. A unique event is occurring in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a pair of these cranes have built a nest on a rooftop.
These cranes were first seen in spring and started nesting in late March. Their nest is made of sticks, grass, and other materials on a flat rooftop. They’ve been incubating their eggs and will hatch in early summer.
It’s unusual for sandhill cranes to nest in urban areas because they need space and quiet, and urban areas can be noisy and crowded. They’re also vulnerable to predators like coyotes, foxes, and raccoons, which are more common in cities.
Despite the challenges, the Milwaukee cranes are doing well. Their nest is in a quieter part of the city, and they find food in nearby parks. Wildlife experts are looking after them, providing food and water when needed.
This event shows that sandhill cranes can adapt to different places, and it highlights the importance of preserving green spaces in cities to help wildlife.
Why are sandhill cranes nesting in urban areas?
Sandhill cranes might be nesting in urban areas for a couple of reasons. One possibility is that they’re losing their traditional nesting spaces due to rapid urban development, which is shrinking their natural habitat. Another reason could be that they’re adapting to city life, as urban areas offer plenty of food from garbage dumps and have fewer predators compared to rural areas.
What can we do to help sandhill cranes nest in urban areas?
To assist sandhill cranes in urban areas, we can take these steps:
- Protect urban green spaces: Urban green areas serve as vital habitats for various wildlife, including sandhill cranes. It’s important to safeguard these spaces from development and pollution.
- Reduce food sources for predators: Sandhill cranes face threats from predators like coyotes, foxes, and raccoons. We can help by securing our garbage cans and not feeding wild animals, which limits food sources for these predators.
- Monitor sandhill crane nests: Wildlife experts can keep an eye on sandhill crane nests to ensure the cranes’ safety and prevent any disturbance to their eggs and chicks.