Calling male Sandhill CraneCalling male Sandhill Crane – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Yesterday Dickson Smith reported on UBird that he saw 4 Sandhill Cranes in northern Utah on his way home from Antelope Island State Park. It seems a bit early for Sandhills but this has truly been an odd winter. There is a single White-faced Ibis at Farmington Bay WMA that has stayed through the winter and there are 5 American Avocets along the cause way to Antelope Island who never migrated south.

Autumn Sandhill Crane in MontanaAutumn Sandhill Crane in Montana – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Any way, as soon as I read the word “Sandhill Cranes” in Dickson’s report I could hear their bugling calls in my mind. Something about their calls touches me deeply and seeing them dancing does as well. So I went to sleep last night…

Male Sandhill Crane in the Centennial ValleyMale Sandhill Crane in the Centennial Valley – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Dreaming of Sandhill Cranes.

I thought about the Sandhill Cranes in Utah and Montana this morning after my dream and that made me long for warmer weather (since winter has been such a flop), spotting my first of the season Sandhills flying overhead or dancing in the marshes near the Great Salt Lake and the hope of seeing tiny colts with the adults in the Centennial Valley of Montana.

Last night I only had dreams about Sandhill Cranes but it won’t be long before I will be seeing and hearing them for real. I can barely wait.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover January 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Great images, especially the second one, and interesting comments. Yes, feels like spring to me too!

  2. Elephant's Child January 29, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Such a glorious sight. Thank you.

  3. Jolanta January 29, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Such a beautiful birds! Great photos, thanks!

  4. Chris Rohrer January 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Hi there!!!!! I’m still glowing from the Trumpeter Swans visiting! You are absolutely correct! This has been an unusual winter full of fantastic birds. Glad you got to see the cranes. We still have the lot of them here in Southern Arizona. I hope they stay around for awhile:)

  5. Patty Chadwick January 29, 2015 at 8:31 am

    I was driving to Rapid with friends from Wounded Knee. In the center of the road ahead of us was a “cluster” of large birds milling about. We slowed, stopped and watched them. They were Sandhills. Suddenly, they rose up and flew in a big circle right over us, like a huge halo. I will never forget the thrill of that sight or the wonderfully wild sound of their calls….

  6. Kathie January 29, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Mia, I love that the young cranes are called colts! I, too, love their wild bugling calls. Last night I fell asleep dreaming of Utah when I woke up at 2:30 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I lay in bed thinking about all the places we had lived and I wondered where I would live if I could chose. Utah is at the top of my list! You are so fortunate to live in such a remarkable place, and how I miss Antelope Island! I hope one day I can return and go birding with you! What a lovely dream to have: sandhill cranes singing and dancing in your dreams all night long!

Comments are closed.