Friday, March 23, 2012

Sandhill Cranes in Flight

We went and saw the cranes again last Sunday, but unlike 2011, it was hard to find them. They seemed more scattered and skittish, maybe because the wind was coming out of the south at 40mph. Last year the weather was foggy and 45, this year sunny and 80.

The photos from last year have the cranes at a distance and mostly standing, but this year I got many in flight. Hence the post title. If you want to HEAR the haunting call of this ten million year old bird, migrating 500,000 at a time in the only mass crane migration of its kind in the world, link to the crane cam around 7:30 am and pm cst.

Crane on the right looks hurt.

Forms of flight?

As usual, they don't like cars.

Largest group we found, maybe 1,000 here along a hill.
Cranes, center pivot, and corn. An uneasy truce.
This is not a crane.


Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Fabulous pictures of the cranes in flight...I have never seen these magnifient birds in person...what a great treat!

Dawn said...

Love that final caption! Your posts always make me smile!

Diana Studer said...

I didn't realise it was a mass migration, hence the appeal for the hunters. Sandhill is an enticing name for a crane.

Benjamin Vogt said...

And Donna, you have to hear them. You HAVE TO.

Dawn, I'm here to serve. That'll be $10.

Diana, I think they hunt the smaller migrations further east, in Kentucky, don't know about here. Cranes mate for life so it's even worse.

Shyrlene. said...

Benjamin - I envy your closeness to the birds! It's such a treat to hear their call every Spring and Fall (it feels like such a narrow window of opportunity to see & hear them locally). Thanks for sharing such excellent photos; very cool 'in flight' shots.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Shyrlene, If you take pics at the higher file settings, then crop them, birds may appear closer than they actually are. :)

Linda said...

Majestic...simply beautiful.