On our visit to Lake Woodruff NWR in DeLand Florida, it was amazing how the Sandhill Cranes seemed to not be bothered by people. But then again there were not many people around. So maybe they were just curious. We did not try to get close to them, but they walked right up to us as to check us out. We were a little nervous at first but they just seemed to be checking us out and went on their way foraging in the grass. It is a little intimidating to have such a large bird get that close to check you out. They are about 4 ft tall and have about a 7 ft wingspan. The trouble was I had to shoot series of panoramas to get the entire Sandhill Cranes in. Usually you can never get close enough to fill the frame with birds! The featured image is made from 2 images, @ 300mm and assembled in Photoshop. The amount of images per pano is also a guide as to how close they were to us! The more images per panorama the closer they were!
This must be one of your most outstanding experiences in the field, I imagine. I wonder if they had never seen a human before? It’s possible, I suppose.
Yes! It was definitely a fun trip! On our other visits here over the years they were in large flocks flying by. Some sort of close but most just in the distance. We went last year and saw 2 Sandhill Cranes but were not as close as this year. They were farther away, but got some close images with long lenses. Or cropped the images quite a bit!
It must be a bit disconcerting when the bird is checking you out. 😊 Excellent photos, Reed.
Thanks! Yes, it is a little unnerving when they are coming that close! And you are not sure what they will do!
More gorgeous shots!
Thanks! It was a fun photo trip!
Stunning shots, Reed, in your first photo they are a handsome/beautiful couple!
Thanks Donna! They stayed somewhat together as they foraged! Sometimes they were 5 or 6 feet apart.
All well don,e, Reed. They are gorgeous birds.
Thanks Steve! They are fun to watch and fun to photograph!