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Submitted By

Sheli Gossett

8200 Sparta Rd, Sebring, FL, United States


A Sandhill Crane with a left broken leg at knee frequents my first grade class bird feeders. This is the second crane we have observed this school year. The first one’s leg fell off at the knee and eventually we didn’t see the crane anymore.




Broken Legged Sandhill Crane

Left Sandhill Crane leg

28 replies on “Broken Legged Sandhill Crane”

I have a Sand Hill Crane that appeared in my Yard today. Their are 2 of them but 0ne the larger one I think has a broken Leg? What can I do? I live in Kissimmee,Florida 34747 4 miles from the Disney Animal Kingdom. Who can I call and will they come back or stay in the area behind my home not sure?

Holly Faulkner says:

Hi Dane,
The best thing to do would be to call a local wildlife rehabilitator. They will be able to assess the situation and help where needed.


I live over here in Groveland, Lake County. I have flocks of sandhill cranes come by daily. There was one maybe a year or two I saw with one of flocks but this year I no longer see it. It may have died. But I love these birds.

Mary ann says:

I have a sandhill crane also in my back yard in Kissimmee with a broken femur it’s Been bout a month now. Wildlife reduces told me if they can catch th crane , they will euthanize it. They also told me leg fracture in Sandhills are common. And they can survive and mate with one leg. But let eme know if you find a rescue that actually can help !!

I live in Port st. Lucie Florida. We have a sandhill crane that’s about a month-and-a-half old that has a right broken leg. I was told by my local wildlife rehabilitator but as long as it can fly it’ll be okay. I don’t think it’s old enough to fly. I left a message and I’m waiting a call back I have a neighbor that’s concerned as well just don’t want to be the one that see something and doesn’t try to act to save the bird. It’s parents are still around but they aren’t as close as they usually are and haven’t been for the last 2 days. He appears to be eating.

Kathy Swabb says:

I live in St Cloud Fl and we have had more than one Sandhill crane with leg issues in the last year. One is very young and did learn to fly but still very ugly to watch it hop with open wings across my yard. I took a pic yesterday of the swollen knee starting to turn white. They do put them down if you call for help and FWC told me if they get hurt and make it three weeks they most likely live. We do have a mature crane with one leg as we watched the injury last year turn black and the leg fell off 😳
Hope this helps ease your minds.

I live n Lakeland fla and I also have one n my yard with a broken leg n looks as if the other leg is injured.

Josh says:

I live in West Melbourne FL I have the same thing a crane with a broken leg he’s severely limping

Tamara Noe says:

We have one in Eaton Rapids, MI. She migrated when the others did and made her way back this spring. She is by herself, but I am hoping she will find a mate.

david johnson says:

very young sand hill, seems to have injured leg. cars don’t even attempt to avoid, what a shame. please yield to these animals.

Shirley Karen says:

These injuries are the results of reckless, speeding drivers. Please reach out to enforcers and neighbors to slow driving. April/May specially because this is baby time. Sandhills like the roadside as cars go by and “fluff” the grass releasing food. This combined with their inane lack of fear of humans results in sooooo much injury and death. They are so fragile. Take time during baby season to walk with them and guard them. They are very hard to see and dangerous drivers are speeding and distracted.

Thank you

Lee says:

I have a family that come every year, this year there were 2 babies for about a month… then there was one.

Well now the one (Angel) baby, now juvenile has a wing that is unable to move. I called EVERYONE, I was told “Angel” will acclimate to its disability. If rescue intervenes it will be euthanized… I’m a heartbroken human Mom.

Sandi Heder says:

We have a family and Sandra cranes and one of the adults has a broken leg. We feed them whole kernel corn that we buy in 50 town bags and they come back year after year because of it. They actually get to know us and we are able to get very close to them. They can still fly with an injured leg and so they do have a chance of survival. We called wildlife rehabilitation and there is not much they can do and said they can typically get by with 1 leg because they can still fly.

Becky says:

I see Cranes that have bands(tagged) around their legs but I guess they do that when they are small. If you try to help a young adult it might be dangerous! What type of shelter do cranes like during storms in Florida? One of our visitors was limping today and I would like to have a shelter for him if he needs one. He comes by with his family weekly.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Becky, The cranes will find their own shelter – they’ve been weathering storms for millennia and have their own strategies to protect themselves, even when injured. Thanks for thinking of them!

Winter is fast approaching in Wisconsin. The smaller of a pair of cranes has broken foot, but can fly. This week she is alone. Will a mate abandon her and migrate leaving her behind?

Mary E Hensley says:

I have a male sandhill crane who lives in the back of my house on the canal. A man in a mosquito sprayer truck scared the family, mom, dad and baby and chased them for a long distance instead of letting them get out of his way first. As a result the male hurt his left leg….I do not know if it is broken or sprained…how can you tell?
What can I do…I called a couple places and they said to let it heal on it’s own as long as it is flying, eating and drinking…which he is so far…..can a broken leg heal on it’s own? Can’t something be done to help him without taking him from his family….no one seems to want to help me….it is heartbreaking….

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Mary, Was one of the places you called a licensed wildlife rehabilitator? If not, I suggest that you reach out to one who may be able to offer the best advice. If you don’t know what that is in your area, then try checking with your state wildlife office, who should keep a list of those who are federally certified. If you already did reach out to a rehabilitator, then it’s best to follow their advice – again, they are specially trained to do what’s best for the bird in these situations. For example, bringing a bird (or any animal) in to be treated can be extremely stressful for the animal, and animals can sometimes die from excessive stress/shock, so rehabilitators often need to make decisions based on what the potential outcomes would be.

Mary E Hensley says:

Holly, I did call the wildlife rehabilitator in Winter Haven and her phone has been blocking callers for 3 days. I called two other rehabilitators and same thing…blocking callers. I called the St Charles Veterinary Hospital in Davenport, Florida and they said they could help him but I have to bring him… not kidding, I am 73 years old and how would I catch him…I have no cage…how would I get him in my car…..there are people trained for that…not me. I tried to call the FWC and can never get through….I was going to ask their opinion and also report the mosquito sprayer as he could have stopped for this family of birds and he did not. The female limped for a few days but she is okay now…..the male is in bad shape, his leg is bent and he walks on the tips of his toes…..he is trying real hard to take care of his family and he rests a lot….this is making me sick….no one is available to help or even assess the situation. I know it would be stressful to catch him and take him somewhere…so why do they ask me to… I have talked to numerous people and most say let it be….one said it will heal on it’s own but it will not heal correctly and he will be crippled….So, why does she not figure something out to help this bird….that is what they get paid for…..I am not sure I can deal with this anymore. I have lost faith in all the so called animal lovers and helpers….because they do not want to help. I have donated to numerous animal organizations over the years and take cat and dog food and cat litter to many humane shelters in Polk County….now I need help for this poor bird and no one cares. They talk about it and say what should be done but no one does anything. The donations stop here….they are trained to do this type of care and they pledged to help animals but I sure don’t see it. So disappointed in all the so called animals caregivers….just one poor little bird that would not take but an hour or so out of their day….if you hear of anyone just anyone who cares enough to come out and check this bird…he can be found in Cypresswood Golf and Country Club back by the tennis villas by the clubhouse. He lives and has a nest at the back of my yard….I see him first thing every morning and the last thing every night and it makes me so sad.

Margie Morris says:

Ditto on all counts. I have a crane in my back yard for last 2 hours. I think his leg is broken. He hopes on it once in awhile but can’t use it to walk. I called the rehab & got the same responce. Right then,.2 or 3 cranes landed beside him and started attacking him. I guess I’m supposed to just watch them kill him. I told her on the phone & she said there is nothing they can do. So sad that no one can help. I live in Lake county, Leesburg.

Mary E Hensley says:

Holly, This is my second reply and I want you to be aware I am washing my hands of this whole ordeal. No one showed up to check this bird, as I expected. I don’t expect anything anymore from the so called animal helpers. My experience has proved to me to be a horrible one. I have lost respect and will make no more donations to any animal organizations from this day forward. I am done….no need to reply….

Deanna says:

Try calling shawna at critter creek wildlife rescue (863-934-2745)! If that’s the place you called recently she was dealing with her son being in the hospital at that time. I called her tonight about a fledgling (it was still fluffy and couldn’t fly) i found with an extremely broken leg (foot barely hanging on) . She was able to help me out with getting this baby the help it needed. I did call fwc first and they wouldn’t do anything other than transfer me to another place called geniuses. When transfered to them i got a messages about visiting their facility and then it went to voice mail… I really hope she can help you as well!

Kimberly says:

Mary I feel your pain. I’m going through the exact same thing with an injured crane in my yard. Have made MANY phone calls & no one is able/willing to help. It’s a very sad situation & my heart breaks for this poor Crane. One leg is twisted behind and around the good leg and the good leg has a very swollen toe. I know she can fly because that’s the only way she could’ve gotten in our yard. This just isn’t right.

Jesse J Jackson says:

This must be very common. Every year I have a family that comes to my door wanting food they stay at the end off the road but wonder to my house every morning the other day I noticed one had a broken leg below the knee. It hops on one leg I don’t like feeding them because they are wild animals but this guy is in so much pain I can’t help myself. He can fly and hop but the animal rehabilitation centers around ft Myers say same thing if they can fly they are fine. He doesn’t look fine!

Tracy Balentine says:

I have an injured crane in my backyard in Bradenton. I am from the North and unsure what to do . From all the above comments I guess no one helps them? Very sad – he is limping and trying to mobilize. I can hear the other cranes calling out to her and she is looking but not following . Breaks my heart.

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Tracy, Anytime you find an injured bird, you should reach out to a local wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife veterinarian first. It’s better to ask their advice on how to handle the situation before taking any action. They have the proper federal permits and training to assess the situation and make the best decision on how to proceed.

Alison says:

I called a rescue/sanctuary about a sand hill crane with a broken leg my yard in Melbourne FL. I was told by rescue service it would most likely be euthanized. Over all it looks healthy so I am going to buy cracked corn and peanuts. Hopefully it will adapt to the injury and survive with just a little help.

debra ciolli says:

I feel & agree with the Frustration & Disappointment of the so-called,.Wild Life Pro’s. There is a family of Sandhill Cranes, been seeing them with their 2 little ones that are now a couple of months old. Tonight, a neighbor warned all on our cul de sac that the 2 young ones are 1 down in the berm with one of its parents tryin to “guard’ it & the other parent is trying to tend to the other sibling in our cul de sac who’s also hurt with probably a broken leg or foot & won’t move & we know it’s got to be bad because although that one is standing, it’s dark & refuses to move in last couple of hours, & it’s standing on the pavement, not in the grass near the other 1. The other one is peeping but cannot get up. Our neighbors called the Wild Life People & they said, “if the parents are there, it would be too stressful” & then once 1 call was made, another neighbor tried to call, & no 1 will answer. See the Pattern? They’ll just let these 2 who could more than likely be saved, die & suffer through the night. Their Poor Parents have to just stand around & watch & hear their distress. I will say though, while we said we’d never call them again after another horrible event, you’d think after all these years they’d have had people that could actually help these wounded animals. We called once years ago, because a very young one was..”we thought” separated from it’s family. We called, & a lady came out, put the bird back with what we thought was it’s family, & we watched it attack the poor thing & no one could get to it. Horrible. These injured will never make it thru the night. They are literally sitting ducks for any & all prey, let alone the suffering thru what ever their injuries are. With one laying down just peeping & one refusing to move another inch & it’s night, no way. It is Extremely Sickening to me this Still seems to be a “Not Interested” in Helping wounded Birds that I say again, Could’ve Made it had they not been Left to Suffer thru the Night. It would be TWO Miracles if they happen to make it. Sorry, but Not Believing that’ll happen either. Sad.

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