Photographed in Central Florida, north of Lake Placid. The Sandhill Crane has a red forehead, white cheeks and a long dark pointed bill. Its long dark legs trail behind in flight, and the long neck is kept straight in flight. The sandhill crane's large wingspan, which is 6–8 feet when fully grown, makes this a very skilled soaring bird similar in style to hawks and eagles. Utilizing thermals to obtain lift, they can stay aloft for many hours, requiring only occasional flapping of their wings and consequently expending little energy.
The Sandhill Crane has one of the longest fossil histories of any extant bird. The oldest unequivocal Sandhill Crane fossil is 2.5 million years old, over one and a half times older than the earliest remains of most living species of birds. Photo Copyright 2006 Robert Giordano.
Description from Wikipedia.