Alligator Thought It Spotted An Easy Meal But Backs Down From Large Crane In Tense Encounter

alligator on the grass

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An alligator in Sarasota, Florida thought it spotted an easy meal but backed down from an adult sandhill crane after losing a tense staring contest.

It’s always fun to see your hometown in the news. I was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida where this video took place. And honestly, seeing an ‘alligator vs sandhill crane’ standoff like the video below isn’t surprising at all for this time of year.

Many of the sandhill cranes in this part of Florida have just hatched their eggs. Driving around town I see the (baby) chicks walking around with their yellow/brown fuzz still on before they grow their grey, black, and red plumage.

While this is happening, scientists also believe alligator mating season has started early in Southwest Florida this year because it has been particularly warm. So we’ve got feisty alligators interacting with the sandhill cranes all over the place.


An alligator and a crane got into a staring contest at a pond in Sarasota, FL. Which one prevails? #OnlyInFlorida #Crane #Alligator #StaringContest #Florida

♬ In situations such as pranks and pranks(823459) – maruya328

The way this video was shot, it looks like the alligator was going after the adult sandhill crane. I’m here to tell you that is most likely not the case at all.

Behind the sandhill crane, we can see a Canadian goose. Those are actually pretty rare in this part of Florida and normally I’d say the alligator was going after them but that’s not the case either.

Sandhill cranes are almost always found in pairs and larger groups. Seeing one alone would almost be a red flag that another was injured elsewhere.

I am 100% confident there is another sandhill crane and likely a recently hatched baby to the right of the video’s frame. But the way the video was shot it looks like the alligator is taking on the fully-grown sandhill crane. But that almost assuredly wasn’t the case.

For context, I took these pictures in Sarasota, Florida two weeks ago. These were at Myakka State Park.

Alligators sun bathing in Myakka River State Park Florida

Cass Anderson

Alligators sun bathing in Myakka River State Park Florida

Cass Anderson

Alligators are everywhere around here right now and so are the sandhill cranes.