Sandhill Cranes

When heading to Florida, knowing I’d probably be photographing new birds not found in my Chesapeake Bay area to add to my bird life list, there were two I really hoped for, the Sandhill Crane and Roseate Spoonbill.  Well, I’m still searching for the Roseate Spoonbill……

A day out riding around the area, there was a huge flock of Sandhill Cranes out in a cow field.  I almost had a panic attack, mostly because we were on a highway with no where to pull over!

We continued our day; coming back past, they were gone.  There was a road I had wanted to go down heading back that took you to Taylor Creek/Nubbins Slough that was supposedly a good birding area I read.  We turned down Hillard Road but found the dirt road to the Slough roped off with No Trespassing signs.  We turned back around and were almost back to the main highway when I spotted a lone Sandhill Crane.

“Stop!”

Hubby did.  🙂

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Always a good day when you get to add a bird to your list!  We got back to the RV campground and headed out for an ‘exercise’ walk.  Unfortunately, I can’t carry my cameras doing this….

As we headed towards the Preserve area onsite, I saw two Sandhill Cranes feeding in it.

No way!  And me, no camera!!!

I talked hubby into turning around and heading back (quickly), grabbed my camera and jumped into our golf cart just as quick.  I became a speed demon!  (If you can possibly ‘speed’ in a golf cart, lol.)

I couldn’t find them and I was so disappointed.  I rode around the Preserve to the other side and Bingo!  I know a huge grin was instantly plastered on my face.  These were so much closer to me than the one in my first photo.

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The male was on guard the whole time while his gal worked on feeding in the marsh.  She eventually turned around and started to head out of the Preserve, towards to me.  He followed her.  They passed under the rope and out.  Wow, so close….

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Male Sandhill Crane on guard

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Still guarding…..

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Female Sandhill Crane now feeding outside of roped Preserve

I had sat down on the grassy slope to the Preserve to take my photos, trying to stay inconspicuous.  I can’t tell by my photo series at this point or remember who was in the lead, but the two Sandhill Cranes began to walk towards and then past me.  It got to the point they were four feet in front of me.  I was excited AND nervous…..what if one decided to attack me?!!   I sat as still as I could, trying to take the next photos while also trying to keep an eye on the other one’s location.

Hope you enjoy these close-ups!

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Sandhill Crane tail-end

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What a beautiful face you have!

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Who, me?

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I wasn’t sure if they were going to keep walking around me and go back into the Preserve or what.  Then suddenly they started to run while I was trying to zoom out and focus.  I didn’t do so well but here’s my best one of their flight away.

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Maybe they are a bit friendly to humans and get hand-outs, and that’s why they came so close to me.  I just sat as still as I could to not entice them.

What a gift for me on the Sandhill Crane!   You’d think I’d discovered a rare bird here, lol.

Another quick share as tonight’s sunset was a photo-op moment.

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Have a super week, everyone!

 

44 thoughts on “Sandhill Cranes

  1. As gorgeous as the sunset image is, it can’t hold a candle to the fabulous shots of the sandhill cranes that you got! I’m jealous, I’ve been close to them before, but never that close.

  2. Oh, Donna, I found myself holding my breath for you as I read! What wonderful photos and the tail feathers are beautiful and the head…..let me just say I am so impressed and happy for this adventure for you! Truly a once in a life time event. These grand birds are on my “wish” list also. Now just keep your eye open for that spoonbill. Oh, and the sunset was nice, too!! hugs

    • Thank you so much, Beth, for all your wonderful comments, you make me smile! It’s going to be hard to leave this paradise of birds! 🙂 Wait til you see my next post on what I found today… hugs

  3. Pingback: I Got My Spoonbill! | Bay Photos by Donna

  4. Oops, I’m way behind in keeping up with my favorite blogs ;). But you didn’t have to go to Florida for sandhill cranes !!! we have some in Maryland. They are in Kingsville (northeast Baltimore County), in some agricultural fields along Bradshaw Road. We think they hang out somewhere in Gunpowder State Park.

  5. Pingback: A Sandhill Crane Artistic Rendition | Bay Photos by Donna

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