A video, captured by a golfer, shows a crane standing up to an alligator to protect its family from the threat. The crane uses its large wingspan to escort the alligator away as it is walking near the crane's family.
The crane braved the sight of the frightening alligator.
Alligator Vs. Crane
In a video posted to Facebook by Eric Drexler, a crane can be seen holding its own against an alligator on a Florida golf course. Although the video is brief, the interaction between the crane and the alligator is noteworthy. When somebody thinks of a crane, they see the tall elegant bird who would no match for an alligator but one of them put their life on the line to guard its family against a threat.
In the post on Facebook, Drexler says that the sandhill crane escorted the alligator from one body of water to the other. Drexler says that the crane was taking care of its wife and baby in the process. Without a description of the video, someone could just assume that the crane was simply walking with the alligator without giving it much thought.
Alligators are a common sight on Florida golf courses, what seemed like an impending showdown between the two animals isn't. Alligators like to spend time in the water hazards and to sun themselves on the fairways and greens of the golf courses.
While this may seem out of place for the crane to try to fight the alligators, they have been known to attack predators. Sandhill cranes are hunted by foxes, raccoons, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, crows, ravens, eagles, and owls. To protect themselves from these predators, cranes jump into the air and kick their feet forward to fight the aerial threat.
For terrestrial predators they spread their wings and hiss, eventually they resort to kicking. This behavior can be seen in the video with the alligator. The crane in the video can be seen spreading its wings as much as possible to scare the alligator which is perceived as a threat.
Sandhill cranes also mate for life, which would explain why the male bird was so protective of its offspring and mate. Females usually lay two eggs, with only one surviving long enough to hatch. The pairs and their offspring stay together all through the winter until the 9-10-month-old juveniles separate from their parents the following spring.