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on Feb 4, 2010 in Wildlife Photography

Magical Surprise – FL Sandhill Cranes

I had up until yesterday morning photographed all but one of the Sandhill Cranes species and subspecies in North America. I started with the intention of photographing White Pelicans but as the day’s posting unfolds, you’ll see that’s the one bird species I didn’t shoot. RC has this really neat group of photographic friends that have been kind enough to include me in their merry band of adventures and the treat this morning was just killer because I was able to photograph the FL Sandhill Crane.

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This is a Federally listed Threatened species but you wouldn’t know it here in FL. There are communities in FL that have signs saying things like “Crane Crossing” because the Sandhill are living right amongst the homes.

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But this morning we found a band of them where they should be, in the open marsh on the edge of a swamp forest. It was really cool to come around the corner and hear the pairs calling.

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This one male has on helluva red crown. My lens was stuck on him as he moved around. We had a heavy, dark overcast so there was no light to bring the eye to him but that red, well, as you can see you can’t but help zero in on that color. Damn, what a great opportunity, what a moment!

Photo captured by D3x, 600VR w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film