Loafing Around Grounds

Whitewater Draw is a 'Loafing Ground' for Sandhill Cranes.  That is where the cranes go to rest and hang out after a busy morning spent foraging for food all around Southeastern Arizona.  We arrived just as the cranes were coming in,and there were hundreds of them dropping out of the sky every minute.

They just kept coming: droves and droves of very loud, very large, and very graceful birds.  For someone who had always dreamed of seeing just one, the sight of so many was almost too much for my brain to process! 

And the sound was deafening - and completely unique in my experience.  You can hear a Sandhill Crane's call for miles, so the sound of thousands of them vocalizing was deafening!  This link will bring you to a page where you can hear the sound of a Sandhill Crane: Sandhill Crane sounds, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Everywhere you turned was another vista filled with cranes.  No single picture can do justice to the vast numbers of Sandhill Cranes we saw that day.

Imagine seeing this sight in every direction!  That is almost an accurate depiction of the sheer numbers of cranes at the Loafing Ground on a winter's day.

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