Sandhill Cranes Flying In

When we first got to Lake Woodruff NWR we started down one of the paths to one of our favorite spots to photograph. These 2 Sandhill Cranes landed right in front of us. Then to our surprise they started to mate right in front of us. They were so close I had to backup to get them in the frame. I was using a 300mm lens so I had to back up multiple times to get them in the frame. Then I just decided to shoot multi-image panoramas to get the whole crane in because they stayed so close to us as we walked the path. They stayed with us for about 20 minutes. It was strange that they walked right up to us within a couple of feet and sort of stared at us.  But I was able to get full frame head portraits! Luckily my 300mm lens had very close focusing capability!
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10 Comments on “Sandhill Cranes Flying In

    • Thanks Donna! We knew this was going to be a Great trip when this happened in the first 10 minutes there! We were a little nervous because they are very large birds and they seemed to like us. They were within a foot to us and when they that close they are a Very LARGE Bird! It was a Great Trip. We would have stayed longer but every motel was booked for some event coming up. We also went through Merritt Island NWR on the way home.

      • A few years ago I was sitting partially down a bank on a lake photographing these birds; and they too came towards me and was above me at one point, looking down on me. I was a bit worried, just sat still and didn’t look at them direct on, just out of the corner of my eye. They then turned around and took flight. I’ll never forget that encounter, nor you of yours!! I like your story better too. LOL 😊

    • Thanks Belinda! It is one of our favorite places to photograph! Years ago they had 2 Whooping Cranes that flew with the Sandhill Cranes. They were fun to see and photograph!

  1. Must have been a great experience having them so close. I don’t remember ever hearing about them being aggressive but those bills do look sharp. I’m no expert on bird behavior but that seems a bit intimate. 🙂

    • It did seem strange at first! But after a few minutes it did not bother us that they were so close! But they are one large bird! So being that close at first seemed strange. We had been here multiple times over the years and if you tried to get close to get photos they would fly away. Soon I will post multi-image panoramas of them. I was using a 300mm close focusing lens on these so to get them all in it would take 2 to 7 images. It was definitely a fun outing!

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