Friday, February 07, 2014

Serendipty

Not the endangered whooping crane but the Sandhill crane, more common, is certainly elegant and surprising when you see them.  They are found all across many parts of the mid-west and south.  This bird was seen in fields and near shallow ponds on drive-byes in Florida.  I had hubby stop at a nearby golf course to try and get a closer photo, but it did not look as though I was going to ever get close enough for some real bonding experience.  One rainy afternoon we stopped at a nearby pharmacy so Hubby could pick up some dental floss, and across the edge of the parking lot I saw these Sandhill cranes!

My hands were shaking and I had the telephoto on, so the pictures were blurred because I was too close!  There were four and three were grazing while one was sleeping while cars raced by on the highway.  It was raining lightly and getting me and my camera damp.

These beauties stand almost 4 feet high.  They ignored me, seemingly used to the paparazzi of the elderly in Florida.  Their cry can be heard up to a half mile away.  Mid-westerners are used to their call as they fly overhead during migrating season, sometimes not seen because they are riding a thermal a thousand feet above!

I love their elegant red crown.  A six foot wingspan and a life length of up to 40 years makes them a compelling species.

They let me get closer, even with the stupid telephoto.

Exactly how many times are you going to snap that thing??  

Hey Maggie, this idiot is standing in the rain!

15 comments:

joeh said...

Isn't it funny how you can get so excited about seeing a bird while others just drive on by without noticing.

I would have stopped for sure.

ellen abbott said...

you got some good shot regardless. they are very cool birds. last spring I was lucky enough to se hundreds of the kettling above the town square where I live. I noticed them on my drive to the shop where I work on Saturdays and got a few pics before I opened up. Went in, turned on the lights, came back out to get more pics and they were gone.

Celia said...

Marvelous, we get them here in central eastern Washington, celebrated by the Othello Sand Crane Festival at the end of March. Such beautiful creatures.

messymimi said...

They are lovely birds, and i'm glad you got the chance to get these.

Bob Bushell said...

Amazing and funny too, I love Cranes.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Oh yes
the excitement
it is wonderful.
I like the pictures
they make me smile :)

Brian Miller said...

ah i remember these well from when we lived there....cool to see them again....

Twin City Joan said...

I love the last two pictures. They made me laugh. The sandhills are a beautiful bird. I have a tiny place in the woods in Wisc. just south of a wildlife area and each fall I love to see the hundreds of sandhills gleaning from the fields, flying out to forage in the morning and returning to roost in the evening. Their throaty gargle is a signature sound for the coming winter. You did a great job with the pictures.

Red said...

Awesome photos. You wouldn't want one of these to take a nip at you. Where I was brought up in Saskatchewan , spring and fall, the grain fields are full of them. They are quite wary and stay out in the middle of the field.

Linda Reeder said...

Wow. Up close and personal!

Granny Annie said...

It seems you always make excuses for you photographs and they are always beautiful to me. I guess if you were entering a contest with them somebody might be judging them but to my novice eye, they are always fantastic!

Hilary said...

Oh these are just wonderful, Tabor. You got some fantastic shots. What a treat.

Peruby said...

LOL! Too funny. I did not know this about cranes. I will have to keep an eye out for them now. Love the red crown.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Sandhill cranes are abundant in parts of MI where I grew up. There height and statuesque walk is amazing. These are fantastic shots -- barbara

Kay said...

Oh wow! These are such gorgeous birds. I've seen just a couple in the wild in Japan.