Cranes disrupt traffic, peck at cars in Melbourne



MELBOURNE, Fla. - Two sand hill cranes have been disrupting traffic for days in Melbourne.

Their original nest was moved, but the birds still won't leave the corner of NASA Boulevard and Evans Road.

WFTV reporter Melonie Holt said one of the cranes has been pecking at cars, just trying to get by.

"I'm an animal person. I don't want them to get hurt and they're going to. It's inevitable," said resident Sandy Wilmath.

Drivers tried to avoid the crane as he pecked away at their vehicles. Others tried shooing the bird back to safer territory closer to his mate.

Florida Fish and Wildlife told WFTV the birds built a nest near the intersection.  It was moved in the hopes the birds would move too. Instead, the cranes began rebuilding their nest.

"It's nature. We're taking over their space," said resident Amanda Roth.

The female crane has an injured leg and Florida Fish and Wildlife said she's in need of rehabilitation.  The agency is working with a trapper to temporarily remove her.

The bird's mate will stay behind. But, wildlife officials hope he'll calm down once there's no longer a need to protect his nesting mate.