Daily Archives: November 27, 2017

Afternoon Cranes

It is rare to see mass movements of Sandhill Cranes during full daylight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Generally the flocks get up and move only at dawn and sunset. During the day you see family groups of 3 to 4 birds in the air all the time, but not large groups. This afternoon, late afternoon, but still afternoon, was the exception. The air at the surface was heated and rising and the cranes were soaring high. It occurs to me now, that these must have been new cranes coming down from the north in the favorable air conditions…cruising high from the central valley refuges in Southern Colorado, over Albuquerque, and down the Rio Grande to settle at Bosque del Apache. The heated surface air allowed them to spiral down from great heights without apparent effort. It was as though they were falling into a cushion. The graceful glide and the lovely afternoon light make it all seem very choreographed or composed…very like a dance…very like a painting. Sony RX10iv at 585mm. Program mode with Birds in Flight modifications. 1/1250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr.