These are from the first couple of trips to a ranch thati photographed for a contest. It started out very slowly getting used to the ranch and leanrning how to find animals on the ranch.
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, WI
Bad pictures, but we could clearly see the bark face/head on the white body in a spotting scope.
My friend and i were heading home from a morning of birding when we spotted an egret way out in a field that just didn't look right. Stopped car for better look and knew it was too big for sure. He called it first. We got out and put scope on it for certain id. It was hanging out with a young sandhill crane, but no others of either species were seen in the area.
Observed for nearly an hour and were able to get several looks at bands on legs. Trying to see if way to determine whether a late off course bird from the migrating population or a roaming bird from the Louisiana group. Hoping for the former.
it was noon and heat shear from such a distance combined with steady wind made useable photos almost impossible. These are the best I could manage.
I heard them squawking and expected to see Sandhills. They were circling right over the house but I had to run get a camera with a telephoto lens. By the time I got back outside they had moved north. Right after these pictures they formed a "v" and headed north.
The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), the tallest North American bird, is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound. In 2003, there were about 153 pairs of whooping cranes. Along with the Sandhill Crane, it is one of only two crane species found in North America. The Whooping Crane's lifespan is estimated to be 22 to 24 years in the wild. After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of...