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Nature Photography - Done Naturally

Whooping Crane

Photo of the Week (August 22nd, 2021)

(archive photos of the week here)

There are some days as a birder that you'll always remember, and this was one of them. Over the last couple of weeks, there was a report of a pair of Whooping Cranes in Sully County. Having Whooping Cranes around in August is rather odd, and thus I was rather skeptical they'd hang around. However, with a free Saturday, I decided to make the long, 4 hour trek to Sully County where the birds were seen. I wasn't expecting much, but hey, how often do you get a chance to see Whooping Cranes?

It's not often that chasing a rarity works out this well. I came over a hill as I approached the location where the birds had been seen, and...they were standing in the middle of the road! They flew as I slowed down, but fortunately circled and landed in a cut wheat field just off the road.  I ended up spending the next magnificent hour watching the pair as they foraged both in the wheat field and an adjacent dry wetland.  Magnificent birds, and I doubt I'll ever again have a chance to watch a wild pair of Whooping Cranes from such close distance.

Whooping Crane - Grus americana

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