Sandhill Cranes There is definitely something prehistoric about Sandhill Cranes. They are one of the oldest living birds on earth, with some of their fossils dating back 10 million years. That is a helluva long time.I once stumbled upon a group of them while they were sleeping on the edge of the Yellowstone. Our paths crossed while I was walking my drift boat down the river in the middle of the night... that's another story. There wasn't a lick of light out, so I never even saw them when they erupted from what they thought would be a peaceful night of slumber.It was a sound like no other, a bit reminiscent of Jurassic Park... mixed in with a high pitched scream, which I've been told was quite impressive.