These are sandhill cranes, one of the most strange birds we have up here spring to fall. They are absolutely HUGE! When they take flight they look like something out of a science fiction movie. An enormous wingspan, legs out behind, long beak streatched out in front and they cackle, or croak. No pretty bird songs here. They are extremely interesting.
There were only 9 in the field when I drove past, turned around, and came back. I thought they might take flight, but think there may have been babies in the cut hay. Two wandered off into the grass field, so I'm quite certain there were some very young ones.
We often hear them flying overhead, but do not often actually see them. Another weird and wonderful creation of nature.