In Celebration of Cranes
digiscoped with Leica D-Lux 3 camera and Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scope
The bird above scored what appeared to be a large grub of sorts. I always wondered what they were feeding on out there.
Here in Florida some Sandhills have adapted to suburban living, and occasionally a pair will raise its family in the middle of a new housing development. A great anecdote came from Floridians riding out one of the hurricanes a couple years ago. They told how their "neighborhood" Sandhills simply faced into the wind and hugged the ground with necks and heads stretched out. Apparently their aerodynamic shapes allowed them to endure the winds. It was a great story. They even turned when the winds did.
The birds shown here though are "respectable" Sandhills nesting in wet pine woods.
Ever wonder why the birds show all that brown staining?... I scanned past this brown lump three times one afternoon looking across this marsh before the odd red spot drew my eye. I've zoomed in tremendously here with the scope and camera zoom, but to the naked eye this nest was not obvious at all. You can imagine how much different the story might have been if that were a pale steel grey lump!
Sandhill Cranes in flight digiscoped at Bosque del Apache NWR, Nov 2006