Friday, October 9, 2009

Up close and personal with a Sandhill Crane...

What a sweet little Valentine's face! Every
time I see a close-up shot of a Sandhill Crane,
all I can think about is hearts--I wonder why?

...that amber eye is gorgeous.

The heart-shaped patch on a Sandhill Crane's
head is red skin, not red feathers. If he gets
excited, angry, or upset, the color intensifies.

In addition to the red crown, cranes let others
in the flock know how they are feeling through

I was hoping to see a few Sandhill Cranes
dancing their famous ballet, but the cranes we
saw were working and eating--they had no time
for dancing, but if you click here, you can see

I wish I could say I took these photos of the Sandhill Cranes in the wild, but they are from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. I hung out there a couple days this summer while Matty was attending the zoo camp and took a lot of photos. I thought they would be a great addition to the series on the Haehnle Sandhill Crane Sanctuary.

48 comments:

Moria said...

Wow, extraordinary close ups! Great pictures. I've never seen a Sandhill Crane but hope to one day. I enjoyed the videos you linked too as well. Thanks!

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
They are still wonderful shots even in you took them in a garden. This is usually what I do with capture or semi-domestic animal, I just do portraits or try some funny close-up...
You did it well too and one day maybe, you will get them from the wild.

Andor Marton said...

I usually don't comment zoo photography, but this close-ups are so good especially the #3. Wow!
Actually I never saw a Crane - neither in Zoo - shame on me.

Dave Lewis said...

Red heads are hot! Woo-woo!
We're going to try to go to Michigan to see the Cranes.
Thanks!

Roy said...

So it goes "red in the face" then Kelly.{:)
Great photos of this amazing bird.

Susan Ellis said...

Terrific close ups! I never knew that the red patch was skin, not feathers...something new everyday! Thanks Kelly.

Highton-Ridley said...

Lovely sequence of shots, Kelly. What a pretty face he has. Given their descent from dinosaurs, it makes you wonder how true the bland greys / greens we see in films is.

Sue said...

I've never seen such a close -closeup! Nice!

Laure Ferlita said...

Do they strike you as "old souls" and intelligent looking? They do me! I didn't know about the red skin either! Thank you for sharing!!

Nature As Is said...

Yes they do have a sweet Valentine face I agree with you on that point. Beautiful close up shots Kelly.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Kel---I don't care where you took the pictures.. They are AMAZING. Love the closeups of the Sandhill Cranes. I'm sure you'll see them dancing one day!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Kelly said...

Moria...thank you! Last weekend was the first time I saw one in the wild. They are beautiful. Their call is amazing.

Chris...thanks! I would love to get a close-up like that of a Sandhill in the wild. You saw how far away I was in the cropped images from a few days ago. I can keep trying! Michigan is only four hours away...

Andor...thank you! I know...I didn't even think of posting them, but they fit so well with the previous two posts, I thought I would use them. Their faces are so pretty and unique...

Dave...Good luck!! I'm going to try to get back the first week in November. I hope I can talk Rick and Matty into it...and we don't have hockey somewhere else...

Roy...it sure does!! But such a pretty little red face...

Susan...I really hadn't thought about it until I saw the close-ups, then I researched it. Beautiful and interesting....

Highten-Ridley....ohhhhhh...very good point! You might be right. It would be very cool to see T-Rex with a bright color on him. It is amazing how long this bird's line goes back...

Thanks, Sue!

Laure....they do!! I thought the same thing, and was totally amazed to find out they are the oldest line of bird. It's their eyes.....they are soulful.

Thanks, Crista!

Oh...you're so sweet, Betsy! Thanks....I read somewhere they come through Tennessee in the spring--I think near Nashville.

Anna said...

Kelly what a nice bird. Yours not yours, it does not matter, still beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing. Anna :)

Kelly said...

...thanks, Ann! I just wish I had been so close to one in the wild and not just the zoo, but the zoo is a great place to learn about details of birds and other animals...

Anna said...

You know Kelly, I know that in the life time I will not be able to see all the 10 000 birds out there, so I use zoo too see them and learn more, like you. The most birds I ever seen was the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore, and San Diego, but then I wasn't really into birding.

I wish too that many birds I was able to see in the wild. The captivity thing never really worked with me that well.

Thanks Kelly for response.

Anna :)

Kelly said...

Anna....I know what you mean. I always feel a little sad seeing them captive, but I know the vets are doing so much to try to save species and education is vital to bringing awareness to people who hopefully will then go out and help preserve species...but I still feel a little sad...

Cathy B. said...

Beautiful shots :-)

Larry said...

Your close-ups of the Sandhill Cranes are great Kelly! Thanks for the videos. Very good information there.

We are getting ready to go see the cranes in the refuges in the Sacramento Valley. It was nice getting the tip on the body language of the birds sticking out there necks just before take off. Maybe I will be able to get some decent flight shots!

I know how you feel when seeing animals in captivity but I agree that for species education and conservation it can be a good thing.

ShySongbird said...

I just loved the video of them dancing, thank you for finding that link for us, it is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face, it certainly did mine. Isn't Nature wonderful Kelly!

Lovely photos of course! That first one would make a really fun Valentines card :)

Jayne said...

I don't think I've ever seen such close ups to see the actual "heart" shape of their red skin patch! How cool!

Kelly said...

Cathy...thank you!! :-)

Larry...Wow.....have fun at the refuge. I hope you get to witness the pre-flight behavior and get some wonderful flight shots!! I can't wait to see the shots from your visit!

Jan...thanks! I thought so too...a little Valentine's head! I really enjoyed watching the videos too...glad they put them together!

Kelly said...

Jayne...thanks! I have some other cool zoo photos from that visit...of a peacock...a few others. I might post those later...

Montanagirl said...

Terrific close-ups! I viewed all the little videos, which were very informative and quite interesting. Thank you!

Uncommon Depth said...

Good thing you add the last comment about the zoo. I was ready to book an airline ticket to see these tame (wild) cranes! Beautiful photos.

Kelly said...

Mona...thanks!

Roberta.....I know......wouldn't that be cool!!

Cicero Sings said...

I really enjoyed this post and the videos. We get sand hill cranes up here in the summer and sometimes see the odd nesting couple ... but from a distance ... we never can get too close. So interesting, the dancing.

Warren Baker said...

Very nice kelly. his heart was very red today, he must have liked the look of you!! :-)

holdingmoments said...

Zoo or not Kelly, these are superb.
That first one really grabbed me; and then they just got better.
Outstanding!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly.
I love these close up shots of the Sandhill Cranes no matter where they are. Have a nice weekend.

John said...

Kelly,

Amazing close up photographs. That is just one good reason for these parks, it enables you to really study the colour, feathers etc. Cracking stuff.

I wish I could travel around the World to see every species of Crane. Well I have seen two so far...which leaves just......

John

Tammie Lee said...

my oh my, I have never seen them up close like this. What an amazing little heart face! I will check out the films, thank you Kelly~

Ginnymo said...

Wow! They are very pretty! I've never seen one. You sure got some great close ups Kelly!

Busy Bee Suz said...

They are so beautiful and magical the way the color can deepen!!!

Mary said...

I love the heart on the face! How cool is that? Sometimes zoo photos are the best we can get and see a species up close. At least you did see some on your trip to the sanctuary!

Craig Glenn said...

Amazing shots Kelly!

Craig Glenn

Elaine said...

Kelly, stunning shots! Zoo or not, they are wonderful. I do love doing portraits of the sandhills. I think they have such interesting faces. I hadn't noticed the heart until you mentioned it. I'm glad you posted these.

Cindy said...

Wow! Awesome photos. I've gotten close to them before but not like this. These are gorgeous!! Nice job. Have a great week.

Kelly said...

...this guy is just begging to be painted!! I hope I have time to work up a sketch or two! I still seem to have cranes on the brain! Thank you for the kind comments...birding is so much fun, and birders are just so darn nice!! :-D

E said...

Beautiful pics, Kelly, great stories. lovely flowers. Thanks.

Kathiesbirds said...

I never knew the red on their heads made a heart shape! What a great idea! So glad you pointed this out to us! Very nice shots! They are easy to fall in love with and the hearts just dirve the point home!

Tina said...

Neat post of those close ups sandhills!! I think it is fun to hang out at the zoo for a day and get to see all those creatures close up...such beauty and detail..lovely

Adrienne in Ohio said...

These are great shots, Kelly. I never noticed the heart shape of the red marking before. But then I've never been this close to a Sandhill Crane before either. :)

HBFG said...

This is one beautiful creature! I love the red "face" and his orange eyes. Fantastic close ups! :)

Midmarsh John said...

Really spectacular close up shots, Kelly. The video links were also interesting.

JRandSue said...

Wow Kelly,fantastic image.
Lovely shot.
Also thank you for your support and comments on our Blog.
John.

dAwN said...

I love the hearts on thier faces too! Awesome shots and information! this one deserves a tweet!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Absolutely AMAZING!

Chad said...

Awesome pics of the Crane! I am thinking about going to Jasper Pulaski in West Indiana in a couple of weeks to see the Sandhills... apparently they flock up to 20,000 at their peek there. I cant wait.