04 August 2010

Waders on Wednesday-Rainy Day Crane

Ok, I know it is not technically a wading bird.  Cranes belong to the Gruiform order, which includes the rails and gallinules.  However, it is a big water bird with long legs, so I figured you might let it slide.

I photographed this individual this past rainy Monday in a small park near downtown Elkton, MD.  This sociable adult crane has been hanging out for an extended period in the fields in the middle of a town park.  It was quite amusing to watch all the walkers and joggers doing their excercise circuit round and round while this rare crane fed placidly in their midst.  It just goes to show that you never can tell where rare or unusual birds will show up.  Sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) are rare, but regular visitors on the US east coast, particularly during migration.  They are reported frequently in my area of the mid-Atlantic, but often as flyovers that are seldomly relocated.  It was great to experience these majestic birds once again (I've seen them in MA, including another intimate photography experience) and some day soon I hope to make it out to one of the real migration spots such as the Platte River in Nebraska.

Enjoy the images!


  1. Elijah, absolutely stunning series of images! There is just something about Sandhill Cranes. I love their comical trumpet-like calls and vibrant red foreheads. You have captured the essence of this wondrous bird beautifully.

  2. Beautiful images of an awesome bird. I have been captivated by cranes ever since reading Peter Mathiessen's book "The Birds of Heaven"

  3. Thanks for the kind comments all. They are lovely birds.