Sandhill Crane Delight

/, Sandhill Cranes, Utah, Wayne County/Sandhill Crane Delight

Sandhill Crane in flight with Thousand Lake Mountain in the backgroundSandhill Crane in flight with Thousand Lake Mountain in the background – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

I am back from wandering, camping and photographing in several counties in southern Utah where I was delighted to find some Sandhill Cranes to photograph in Wayne County, Utah. The cranes were feeding, calling and displaying in a farmer’s field in the mornings and evenings. The male Sandhill Crane in the image above was coming in to land in the field and in the background is Thousand Lake Mountain with low clouds that were dumping some snow on that area. There was a bitter cold wind blowing that morning and while the cranes didn’t seem to mind my frozen fingers certainly felt it.

Sandhill Crane flyingSandhill Crane flying – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

At one point I counted 33 Sandhill Cranes in the field and I took tons of images of them while they fed, danced, displayed and called. The calls of Sandhill Cranes have been heard for at least 2.5 million years and possibly as long as 10 million years. Even at 2.5 million years the fossil record is over one and a half times older than the earliest remains of most species of living birds.

More photos of the cranes to come along with a few more birds and scenic images from a part of my adopted state that show the natural beauty found in the areas I visited on this trip. To borrow an old saying “I am one happy camper” especially after photographing this Sandhill Crane delight.



  1. Patty Chadwick March 19, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    These are such beautiful, majestic birds…always exciting to see….

  2. Utahbooklover March 17, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Welcome back Mia. I too just returned and am catching up on things. We had our honeymoon in the Park City area, also pretty chilly. Love these images!

  3. Jane Chesebrough March 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Beautiful shot in the morning light.

  4. biobabbler March 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Phew! STUNNING. And that perfectly lit eye is SHARP–nice work, chica. =) They are SO grand.

  5. Elephant's Child March 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Wow. And WHAT a call. Thank you for that link – I loved it. And your photo.

  6. Wally March 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Mia, super photograph! Sounds like you had a great trip and a wonderful start to Spring. We located four nests of our resident Florida Sandhill Cranes yesterday and found three other pairs with colts already. Several fields were full of migrant cranes fueling up for the flight home.

    There is no sound quite like the trumpeting of the cranes. Wakes up your whole soul!

    Excited at the prospect of seeing your images from the camping trip!

  7. Ashley Beolens March 17, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Wonderful images so far I look forward to seeing the rest (especially some of the dancing cranes)

  8. Montanagirl March 17, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Beautiful flight shots. I can’t begin to even get within camera range of the Cranes up in this part of the country. They’re very spooky when they go through here.

  9. Eileen March 17, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Pretty captures of the Sandhill Cranes in flight.. The lighting is wonderful..Have a happy day!

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