Sandhill Crane Delight

Sandhill Crane in flight with Thousand Lake Mountain in the backgroundSandhill Crane in flight with Thousand Lake Mountain in the background – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

I am back from wandering, camping and photographing in several counties in southern Utah where I was delighted to find some Sandhill Cranes to photograph in Wayne County, Utah. The cranes were feeding, calling and displaying in a farmer’s field in the mornings and evenings. The male Sandhill Crane in the image above was coming in to land in the field and in the background is Thousand Lake Mountain with low clouds that were dumping some snow on that area. There was a bitter cold wind blowing that morning and while the cranes didn’t seem to mind my frozen fingers certainly felt it.

Sandhill Crane flyingSandhill Crane flying – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

At one point I counted 33 Sandhill Cranes in the field and I took tons of images of them while they fed, danced, displayed and called. The calls of Sandhill Cranes have been heard for at least 2.5 million years and possibly as long as 10 million years. Even at 2.5 million years the fossil record is over one and a half times older than the earliest remains of most species of living birds.

More photos of the cranes to come along with a few more birds and scenic images from a part of my adopted state that show the natural beauty found in the areas I visited on this trip. To borrow an old saying “I am one happy camper”!

Mia

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