Crane Season

Every year the sandhill cranes arrive on their annual migration from the southern U.S. and Mexico to the northern tiers of Canada and Alaska. And every year I trudge out to find out if I’m any sort of wildlife photographer. Turns out I’m not.

It’s not that I can’t get a good shot of cranes. But the most interesting pictures are when they’re on the roost in the middle of the Platte River. I’ve only ever awoken at 4 a.m. to crawl into a blind once. I took some decent photographs, but nothing that really stands out as something interesting and different. So most years I drive around trying to photograph them while the feed in the area fields, mostly amidst the corn stalk stubble, where they forrage for leftover corn from the previous year’s harvest. And I get acceptable shots.

For this one picture I was able to drive up on the shoulder of the road to where the cranes were pretty close, seeing as I was carrying a 400mm lens with a doubler. The lines of the field created nice backdrop and the crane in the middle kept looking up while walking away from me with his buddies. Not too bad, but it doesn’t match the work done by Michael Forsberg or my friend Rick Rasmussen.

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