Festival of the Cranes – part 7

The third fly out of our visit to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was back at the ponds along the road rather than the flight deck.  The thermometer said it was not as cold as our first morning…but it was still very cold. The pink morning light on the ponds gave the crane groups other world looks.

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Ribbons of snow geese flew in.

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A northern shoveller was feeding among the legs of the cranes. I managed to catch a picture when it swam into an open patch of water.

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There was an intermingling of the snow geese and cranes. I noticed when I looked at this picture more closely that there are white snow geese and the darker morph of the snow geese (all with a dark grin patch – always reminds me of a streak of dark ‘lipstick’) plus some Ross’s geese that are smaller and without the dark grin patch.

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But my photographic objective for the morning was to photograph cranes in flight. I picked two series for this blog post. I like to look at the wings….how the cranes change the configurations of their wings. It is obvious that is takes a lot more effort for them to land and take off (previous blog posts) than it does to stay aloft. 

When it’s two or three birds, it’s likely to be a family group. The group of five could a family group too since the birds have clutch sizes of 1-3 eggs. This could be a very successful breeding pair!