Sandhill Cranes Are Back

There is no mistaking the sound of sandhill cranes flying over.  The cacophony can be heard before the birds can be seen.  And Wednesday was a full-on crane fly-over day! Hundreds came over in dozens of groups – some more orderly than others.cranes 1

cranes 2

With this lens, all I can get are group shots but the morning light helps define them.

cranes 3And even with a regular lens, some of the groups are too big to fit.   You may have to look closely to see the long line of cranes.

cranes long line

And the noise lasts until after the birds are out of sight.  But here comes another group!

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18 Responses to Sandhill Cranes Are Back

  1. Aspen says:


  2. Wow remarkable and a fantastic blue sky…

  3. I live in Wyoming, and they flew over me on Sunday. Where are you?

    • We share the same cranes! I’m in southern New Mexico. The cranes winter at Bosque del Apache just north of here. They fly over to their feeding grounds most mornings.

      • They made great time! I will have to get to their wintering place one of these days.

      • A visit to the Bosque during crane season is well worth it. Every morning thousands of cranes take off – almost all at the same time. It’s quite spectacular. In the evenings they drift back in groups over a couple of hours. Let me know if you are ever down this way.

  4. MK Ray says:

    Love everything about this!

  5. Kathy in Crivitz says:

    I don’t know if the cranes which summer in the wetland across the road from us migrate to New Mexico or not, but they’ve been gone now about a month. It’s a true sign of spring when we hear “our” pair calling and then see them fly low over our house to start their next family. (We are in Wisconsin)

    • I think you are on a different fly-way than we are. “Ours” come down through the Rockies. I think yours winter towards the Gulf. Their flight to and from Alaska is amazing. There’s an earlier comment here that the sound of the cranes means Fall. And for you it means Spring!

  6. robert87004 says:

    And I’ll be there next month, the festival is coming! It’s only a few hours drive and I want to participate in a workshop or two as this is my last six months in NM..

  7. Sherry Galey says:

    Great captures, Donna.

  8. napperscompanion says:

    Your work really is lovely. Thank you. Peace, John

  9. dorannrule says:

    Fantastic shots Donna!

  10. Kathy in Crivitz says:

    Heard one calling at low altitude late yesterday afternoon. It’s below freezing at night now, and in the 40’s during the day. He (she) is a very late migrant. Must have somehow missed the flocking up that happened weeks and weeks ago around here (Wisconsin).

  11. Roxi says:

    I haven’t heard them yet but I’ll be on the look out. They winter here too. Love the sound. And they are good smoked! (I don’t hunt any more)

  12. montserrat.sobral says:

    I wish I had wings!
    In love with the second picture

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