Wading Birds & Cranes
The wading birds and cranes found on Delta farmland include (click the links or photos to a view species profile):
Wading birds and cranes can both be found on farmland in Delta. They appear similar in body type but are acutally from different families (waders are from the Ardeidae family and cranes the Gruidae family).
There are a variety of wading birds that rely on the Fraser River delta for food and shelter. Two species, the Great-blue Heron and the American Bittern, are commonly found using farmland, especially fields enrolled in the Grassland Set-aside Stewardship Program. Grassland Set-asides provide habitat for small mammals, such as Townsend’s vole, and both the Great-blue Heron and the American Bittern will slowly stalk voles in the tall grass. Once a vole is captured, the Heron or Bittern will quickly swallow it whole. American Bitterns will also roost in grassland set-asides, using their tan and brown camoflouage to conceal themselves amongst the grass.
The only crane found on the farmland of Delta is the Sandhill Crane. It feeds on seeds, vegetation, and invertebrates in farm fields. Sandhill Cranes can be seen feeding in fields enrolled in the Winter Cover Crop Stewardship Program, especially when the cover crop has begun to germinate.