Sandhill Crane / by Dave Hileman

These birds are not well loved by Floridians, or at least the Florida folks I know. They tear up lawns, eat fish out of ponds, wake you up with raucous noise and generally have multiple disgusting habits. But I don't live in Florida, they are both exotic and striking to me and I love to see them on the wild edges not so much on the suburban lawns. They stand over 4 feet tall and are a bit gangly on land but are majestic flyers. This one - dressed for winter in grey and red, was stalking prey along a reedy lake.