Sandhill Cranes at Sierra Valley

Sandhill Crane

Last weekend we went to Sierra Valley near Sierraville, California to see springtime birds. We saw a few but it seemed early yet, with none of the usual spring arrivals like Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Avocets, etc.

What we did see, though, were a few pairs of Sandhill Cranes! This sequence is of a male that was alongside the road that was displaying for a female (seen in a few shots).

Sandhill Crane 4
Sandhill Crane 2
Sandhill Crane 3

He pranced and flapped and jumped, and the female always kept her back to him and continued to walk away. I guess he has his work cut out for him to convince her that he's the one!

I've never seen this behavior in person, so it was quite amazing to stand so close to them while it was happening AND to be able to get photographs! Hopefully in a few months we'll go back and see colts (baby Sandhills)!

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