Lost in the grass

Last week I caught a brief glimpse of a Sandhill Crane family moving through the tall grass prairie at Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. Only the head and neck of the adult cranes were visible above the grass, and I could just barely see the outline of at least one chick walking with the adults.

Only when they extend their neck fully upright are the cranes visible in the tall prairie grass.

Only when they extend their neck fully upright are the cranes visible in the tall prairie grass.

The chick seems to be quite young -- it is barely 1/3 the size of the adult.

The chick seems to be quite young — it is barely 1/3 the size of the adult.

One of the adults kept a wary eye on me while the other adult and chick made their way over toward the protection of the trees.

One of the adults kept a wary eye on me while the other adult and chick made their way over toward the protection of the trees.

Except for their bright red forehead, these birds blend into the prairie grasses quite well, even though they are tall and large-bodied.  I recently posted more photos and information on the habits and habitat of these birds.  Click here to go to that post.

10 thoughts on “Lost in the grass

  1. The cranes are barely visible in the sea of grass. Nice job, Sue, in capturing these images when they happened to hold their heads up high. This is one of the many cool-looking bird species that i have not yet encountered.

    • Thanks, Mike. A rare opportunity, but not the greatest photo conditions. So glad they turned out well enough to see something in all that grass.

  2. I’ve only seen cranes a few times in my life – twice when I was at the Bosque del Apache wildlife area in southern NM. I even saw a coyote take one down. They are very large birds and I bet sometimes the coyote looses to that long beak.

  3. Great shots, Sue! I particularly like the last one…love the way it fades into the grass on that one. I will have to visit one of their migration stopping points one of these days. I’ve never seen a crane before. I hear Whooping Cranes are endangered and reintroducing them to old habitats is a floundering process…would particularly like to see some of them before they are gone.

    • They are big and that alone makes them really fun to watch. You’ll need a visit to Nebraska, too (see above reply to comment).

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