Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sandhill Crane Baby!

My first look at the new sandhill crane baby! Well, he isn't a baby anymore, as he stands just as tall as his parents! It was so cool to see it, as this is my second year spotting the resident pairs' offspring, and getting this close was a thrill!

Although I was granted such a lucky sighting, I have to rant about wildlife etiquette because here is what happened that evening:

I strategically parked along the side of the road, just beyond a brushy hill so that the cranes could not see me. I chose this position because it was just before sunset and I wanted a flight shot as they headed back to their grounds. As I waited, another car drove past and spotted the cranes in the field. They stopped, put on their hazard lights, backed up, and got out of the car to take a few photos. What is wrong with this? Well, I was there first, obviously observing the same sight, and I really don't have a huge problem with that, but...The hazards on became a beacon, so if they were not already stressed, that just did it! O.K., so you might say that they were thinking of safety first, and I will even give you that, but the disregard when they stepped out of their vehicle to walk a mere 5 feet with their tiny "point n shoot", causing the cranes to flee sent me over the edge! Not only did they disturb the cranes in their natural setting, but they completely and selfishly ignored my position and discovery rights as the first one there. They just had to get out of the car, creating a second threat, as if the flashing lights and headbeams were not enough to create a hostile environment for them. The people needed another lousy 5 feet to get the shot, as if that made all the difference...Seriously!?! I gave them the "stink eye" after the birds disappeared and continued down the road, but passing them just a few miles down, I see their hazards on again as they were watching some deer grazing, and I am sure they jumped out again for those 5 feet closer shots, as the deer fled. "Learn anything morons?" was my shout as I passed them by. ...Probably not...

Anyway...

The Sandhill Crane does not breed until it is two to seven years old. It can live up to the age of 20. Mated pairs stay together year round, and migrate south as a group with their offspring.









8 comments:

Montanagirl said...

I know how you feel about the "intruders" - some people are just clueless. You still managed to get some wonderful photos.

TSannie said...

Beautiful birds. Better luck next time with intruders.

Leeloo's mum said...

I would've been very frustrated too. Once I was taking pictures of a yellowlegs and I was slowly getting closer to it so it wouldn't get spooked or see me as a threat. It was great until these kids just started running towards it. I told myself, they're just kids, they probably didn't even see the bird there, they're just playing. But I couldn't help being frustrated as the bird screeched and flew away because I had never seen a yellowlegs before.
You did capture some great shots though! They are beautiful :)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

LOve the pictures.Nature is a delicate balance and we all need to be aware of that.
Blessings,Ruth

Eve said...

ARRGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!! Wonderful field shots tho Hannibal!

fotoshooter43 said...

These are wonderful! I know what you mean about the rest...

Bird Girl said...

Oh...don't ya just HATE it when that happens??? I feel your pain!
How exciting to see the baby AND the whole family so close!
I had to laugh because I was just reading an article last night about a guy who visited his friend in Florida and saw some Sandhill cranes in the yard. He threw out a bunch of bird seed and by the END of the WEEK - they were EATING OUT OF HIS HAND! He said the adults were gentle but the babies thought the whole hand and the fingers were part of the meal ;-) What a difference a state makes, GEESH! And I've never even seen one!

Maureen McHale said...

Great pics of the sandhill family. Where I used to work, there were 4 that lived in a nearby field, occassionally they would come peck at their reflections in the floor to ceiling windows of my office. I could stand inches away, face to face, with just a plate of mirrored glass between us, without them seeing me, they truly are beautiful. Seeing them in flight and in a more natural setting (I was in an industrial park) is great. Thanks! Maureen McHale