Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cranes, Cranes & More Cranes

After reading your comments on my post from New Year's Day, I felt compelled to post some additional images from yesterday's trip. These trips to observe wildlife in winter really help keep my seasonal effective disorder at bay. Fortunately, it wasn't snowing or 20 degrees yesterday as it is today. It was a balmy 45 degrees with a light breeze. Perfect weather to photograph birds.

As is customary, Sandhill Cranes flock together in a small family. The juveniles stay with the adults for several years. Sandhill Cranes group together in large flocks as they are doing in these images while overwintering in southern Indiana. Sometime early February they will take off and head north to their breeding grounds in Northern Canada to begin their nest building and raising new chicks.

The second image is the Sandhill Cranes as they were breaking away from the large flock. I would love to know why they do this, but I don't think we ever will. I do know I was witness to this same thing one day last year on one of several trips to this area. A large flock broke into two flocks as a few hundred Cranes took of and landed in the same field just a thousand or so yards away from the original group. I keep trying to capture a really good image of the Cranes performing their mating dance, but it's difficult as they are so quick about it. With Cranes it is all about just how close they are willing to allow you to walk up to them and that generally means you are at least several hundred yards away. I have a fairly good feel for it now that I've photographed them six to seven times over the last couple of years. No Whooping Cranes in this grouping like there was last year. Perhaps one will show up later this month. We are headed for -7 degrees here next week. OMG! ENJOY!


  1. A huge flock, do they separate because of the numbers, and is it easier for them, if there are not so many taking off or landing at the same time? Lovely photo of the ones standing, their tail feathers shown off so well. Cheers from Jean

    1. Not sure why they separate, but I might check into it. They are beautiful.