Sandhill Cranes Foraging

Today I’m featuring some images of the Sandhill Cranes foraging in the cornfields along the Platte River. The cranes are interesting birds, roosting in the shallow waters of the Platte River (to avoid predation by coyotes), but spend all day in the cornfields where they forage and put on weight for the continued flight back to their summer homes, ranging from northern USA to Canada, Alaska and even Siberia! The cranes spend from 3-4 weeks along the Platte River, building up their body weight and regaining their strength. Once ready, all they look for is a warm, southerly thermal to help them move northward to home.

Here are a few images I captured of the cranes foraging:

Sandhill Cranes foraging in cornfield

Sandhill Cranes foraging in a cornfield

Sandhill Cranes foraging in a cornfield

In tomorrow’s post, I’ve uploaded a few short videos of the Sandhill Cranes as they arrive/forage in the cornfields along the Platte River. You’ll be able to see the growing number of cranes going to the fields to feed, along with hearing their raspy, croak-like vocals.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, with Canon 1.4x TC, shot at 420mm to 560mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”, shot from the car window to prevent frightening the birds
  • ISO 2500 (top photo) and ISO 800 (bottom 2 photos) (Note: Very heavily overcast for the top image)
  • Aperture f/8 (top photo) and f/9 (bottom 2 photos)
  • Shutter 1/250 sec. (top photo), and 1/320 sec. to 1/400 sec. (bottom 2 photos)



Posted in Bird Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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