Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sandhill Cranes at Dusk

Here in the north the our short Summer has come to an end. Even though Fall does not officially begin until tomorrow I have been seeing the signs of Autumn for the past couple of weeks. Leaves on the trees have just begun to change color, woolly bear caterpillars are on the move and the sandhills cranes have begun to descend upon Crex Meadows.
Each Fall the sandhill cranes migrate south for the winter. Before they begin the big migration they gather in staging areas where they get ready for the long flight. Crex Meadows in Wisconsin is one of the places that the cranes use as a staging area. There are quite a few fields around Crex where the cranes can find food but the main reason that they come to Crex are the shallow wetlands that the cranes roost in over night. With their long legs the cranes will often spend the night in pools that are a couple of feet deep. This helps to protect them from land based predators who would have to cross the water to get to the cranes, alerting them to the danger. Many people come to Crex, in the Fall, to watch the cranes fly out from the wetlands to the fields near dawn or return from the fields at dusk. The cranes will usually take their leave at some time in October.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

We can't wait to receive the cranes for their winter visit here in south Louisiana. It is nice to know where they come from. Thanks for the post.

KaHolly said...

Awesome photography!! I had the pleasure of observing from afar, a large flock in TX this past spring. They were noisy, announcing their presence. Nice to know a little more about them.

Carol said...

What a beautiful shot!

Leanne said...

These are beautiful. I love the light on the cranes.

Liz said...

Lovely shots! Happy sky watching.

Liz @ A Simple Life

TorAa said...

Premium, impressive photos

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures and I, too, love the light on the cranes! Wonderful skies! Hope you have a great weekend!

Sylvia

clairz said...

I love the light in these beautiful captures.

jane said...

Beautiful pictures - the cranes must be a magnificent sight in flight - I love to see the swans and geese over the river here - but cranes are few and far between - Jane UK

FotoAnna said...

So beautiful and the light on the cranes... I realy love it!
Happy Sky Watch and greetings from Holland,
Anna

Jackie said...

Love the colour in that first photo, what a great capture.

vincibene said...

Wonderful pictures!

Kel said...

lovely shots of nature on the move

Aarti said...

beautiful.. i havent seen these cranes in India...

Owlfarmer said...

I want cranes! We only get the odd Great Blue Heron, which are lovely enough, but they don't flock (I don't think). These are lovely shots, and a wonderful welcome to autumn.

Judy said...

That first shot is gorgeous! I love the golden light of the setting sun bathing the whole flock!

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Lovely light on the first shot - and thanks for the info. autumn coming indeed! Pah!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Excellent and very nice photographs.

Regards and best wishes

Antonina said...

Fantastic photos!