Monday, January 23, 2012

Sandhill Cranes

We recently took a couple of birding trips to view Sandhill Cranes.  Though I wasn't pleased with the images on either trip, I will share some of the best.
There are several places in the Central Valley of California to view the Cranes in Winter.  One area, called Staten Island, is owned by the Nature Conservancy and managed to benefit wildlife.  Here Cranes, Geese, Swans, Ducks and other birds can be found foraging in the flooded fields.
 Observing behavior is the most interesting part of viewing wildlife.
 It is not just to see the animals but see them interacting with the environment and each other.
If you watch the cranes for any time you are sure to see some interesting interaction.
Not far from Staten Island (an island formed by rivers and canals) is the Woodbridge Ecological Preserve, our next stop.
Wave goodnight, Gracie
 As the sun was setting, it seemed to draw the cranes attention, it was time for them to head to their night time roost.  The crane's foot does not have grasping toes as do herons and egrets so they head to water for the night.  If they stayed in the fields they would be prey for the coyotes and bobcats.
Find more views of Our World at Our World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.

Find more birds at World Bird Wednesday, hosted for us by Springman.

If you find yourself in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta in winter and want to know where to view the cranes, Staten Island is here and the Woodbridge Ecological Preserve here.  Good viewing can be found along Woodbridge road, not just at the view platform. 

38 comments:

Gary said...

Interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Connie Smiley said...

Can't believe you weren't pleased with those images-- I would have been ecstatic! Must be wonderful to see such a thing.

Linda Reeder said...

Very good photos, indeed. They are magnificent birds.

Sylvia K said...

Oh, I think you got some great shots, Martha, as always! And what magnificent birds they are! Enjoy your day! I know I will enjoy mine! The snow is GONE and the skies are blue -- at least for a few hours!

Sylvia

Carol said...

These are great shots!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Gaelyn said...

Looks like they're dancing.

Janie said...

We see them in big groups in winter here. They're beautiful birds. Lovely photos.

Carole DeAngeli said...

I do love to watch the cranes do their dance, and listen to their constant cackling. I hope to get down to our sandhill crane wintering area, where they usually have 20,000+ cranes. Thanks for this nice post.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Wonderful wing perspectives of these cranes in action!

EG Wow said...

I hope someday to see sandhill cranes and take photos. They seem to be a rambunctious bunch!

Sallie (FullTiime-Life) said...

Wonderful post (and you know that if I had those pictures, I'd be ecstatic. (That's the difference between being a point and shooter like me and a real photographer like you!) I actually love the first one because it shows the size of them in relation to the other birds.

Barb said...

Wonderful posturing photos, Martha. I love them flying through the darkening sky.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, awesome captures. I would love to see a flock of these cranes. Lucky you!

katney said...

You certainly got better images that I did. The sandhill cranes stop on their migration in the Wildlife Refuge near Othello, and we made it our first trip in our new car last spring. We weren't able to get close enough for good photography, but the views through the binoculars were great.

SandyCarlson said...

Oh, these are great!

NixBlog said...

I really like your photos, Martha, and these cranes are magnificent!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Outstanding series of photos!

Gattina said...

Beautiful and interesting photos ! I don't even remember when I have seen a crane !

Ebie said...

I have never been fortunate to get close up shots of birds. Love the sunset glow on the cranes.

I'd stay and say good night to them!

Stewart M said...

Hi there - they are a good set of pictures. Not everything has to look like a field guide image - sometimes 'personality' in a picture can be just as good as definition.

Consider yourself told! ;)

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Emille said...

The last pic is the crown on your work - so beautiful when they're flying!

Springman said...

Good grief, this is a great series of pictures. Obviously you spent a lot of time observing these birds. The experience itself is enviable.I did not know that about the SH cranes lack of a branch gripping toe. Wonderful post!!!
Cheers!

mick said...

How interesting to see the cranes so close. Great series of photos.

Carole M. said...

I enjoyed your crane photographs; what a special place to visit

Andrew said...

Many thanks for sharing your images Martha... they are wonderful birds I don't get to see in the UK.
xx

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Very nice. I need to quit putting off going over there to see them for myself.

Carletta said...

I think you got some wonderful shots - love the fourth one!
I can't imagine them being in the water all night - interesting info.

Liz said...

Wonderful shots and great action captured. Thanks for sharing.

Arija said...

Those cranes seemed to have some real matrimonial differences! I too enjoy watching the interactive behaviour of birds and animals.

heyBJK said...

I like those, Martha! And I'd like to photograph some cranes myself, but they're not that common here.

Judy said...

Love the sunlight on the wings in the last shot!!

joo said...

They are so beautiful!

Hilke Breder said...

I love cranes! As a species they have such a fascinating history. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and the info about their roost.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

After my recent visit to Hiwassee, I think that any image of these wonderful birds is worth the effort. Your shares are each very, very nice and so glad you shared them with us~

Larry said...

I so love these birds Martha! You have captured them beautifully. That last shot of the Sandhill Cranes in flight with the evening glow upon their wings is priceless!

bailey-road.com said...

Wonderful captures!

Kathiesbirds said...

How nice to see the cranes! We actually had a couple stop by here in Massachusetts last fall!

Rambling Woods said...

I like the photos and I have never seen a crane in person..wonderful area to bird...I think it was you who mentioned reading about bird's eye and daylight detection..thank you as it gave me something to look up...Michelle