2/13/2012

Ten Thousand Sandhill Cranes!

What could beat the Elegant Trogon?  For me, seeing a Sandhill Crane has been a lifetime dream.  I was so disappointed not to get a good look at a Sandhill Crane in Nebraska in October.  I bought a postcard of a Sandhill Crane just to remind me how close I'd come. My dream was more than fulfilled in Arizona this December, though!

The Sandhill Cranes were even better than I'd imagined, too! Bigger, louder, stranger, and more beautiful than I had been imagining since I was just a little kid.

Seeing the cranes in flight is an experience not to be missed.  It is like no other bird I've ever seen.  When they float down from the sky they seem more angelic than avian!

What was truly magical was the sheer and unimaginable quantity of Sandhill Cranes we saw!  When we arrived at Whitewater Draw, the birds wintering 'loafing grounds', we were just in time to see hundreds upon hundreds descend from the sky. The sounds they make are indescribable - and very LOUD.  Their calls can carry for miles, or so I've heard.

It wasn't long before hundreds turned into thousands upon thousand of birds!   If my estimating skills learned from eBird were even close, then we saw about 10,000 Sandhill Cranes!

6 comments:

  1. So glad you got to see so many of them. You got some great shots! We have so few in Florida. I've only seen 2 or 3 at a time in the winter.

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    1. Thank you, Dina. We were very lucky, indeed!

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  2. What a magnificent sight!!! Love the last photo.

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    1. Thanks. Tammy. They all got startled by something, so the entire sky was full of Sandhill Cranes! It was truly an awe inspiring sight.

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  3. These photos are just like watching the Discovery Channel!

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    1. That is the highest praise I could imagine hearing, Karen! Thank you!

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