Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sandhill Cranes Are Treasured Wonders~ home, the land that I love... is just about the only state in the United States of America to vote in the legal hunting of the Sandhill Cranes late last year.  I along with hundreds of other people tried to no avail to get the proposal stopped. 

The only time that I had ever viewed these majestic birds was from a great distance in Wyoming last September.
Vickie Henderson was the one person instrumental in giving me the idea to begin a blog 3 years ago this spring.  She also is the one person whom has shared so much of her heart and knowledge with those whom would be interested in knowing the wonders of these amazing bird.  Some 12,000 Sandhill Cranes are now staging in and around the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Dayton,TN.

Though I have not been feeling well, this was going to be my only chance this year to view these magnificent birds and so my husby drove us down for a look-see on Sunday evening and we returned yesterday evening...a whirlwind 715 mile journey...

The images are all quite pixelated, for the distance is pretty far from the viewing of these birds.  These first shares were taken from my car window in a cow pasture off of a well maintained road.  Add to this, the fact that from start to finish we had nothing but rain, rain, rain...we were still pleased to have witnessed these beauties, just stunning! 

Oh yes, and I came home with tummy flu to add to my woes...oh woe is me, I am not one of those...

" This year, the sandhills have a celebrity in their midst. On Dec. 13, birdwatchers spotted an Asian hooded crane, a species normally seen only in Southeast Asia, China and Japan. How the crane ended up in Tennessee is still a mystery.

Birding experts doubt the crane escaped from captivity because it hasn't been banded. Nor have its primary feathers been removed to prevent it from flying.
Most believe the Asian hooded crane is a wild bird that lost its way. Some even speculate its mysterious arrival may be related to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last March.
Scott Somershoe, state ornithologist for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, said an Asian hooded crane was spotted last year with a western flock of sandhill cranes in Nebraska and Idaho. This same individual bird could somehow have connected with the eastern population of sandhills to end up at the Hiwassee Refuge, he said."

Please be sure to stop by "World Bird Wednesday" for more bird images from around the world~

* Note: Vickie Henderson shared this with me, so I wanted to also share it, to be accurate with my information~
Only state in the east hunting cranes. The Eastern Population is a separate population that migrates in the Miss/Atlantic flyway and was nearly extirpated in the early thirties. Cranes have historically been hunted in the central flyway and have not been known to experience decline. I am not for hunting any cranes. They are too wonderful.


  1. Congrats on your Sandhill Cranes. They are beautiful birds. I have seen them in Yellowstone and I have seen one Crane twice here in Maryland. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing your post.

  2. wow, these are great! love those flight shots! i had read about KY legalizing the shooting of sandhills. how odd?!

    sorry you have a flu, too! like you didn't have enough to deal with!

  3. I think you got great shots of the cranes. I too, have been out photographing canes and I think your shots are better.
    Interesting that you have an Asian Crane and here in California we have an Asian Duck which I feature this week.

  4. Great photos and beautiful birds. Unbelievable that anyone would think it sport to kill one of those! I hope your 'flu' gets better soon.

  5. Wonderful images. Your photos really give the feel of the birds, their size and their grace. So sorry you experienced flu symptoms along the way and hope you have recovered by now. I'm happy that you were able to get a good view and hear the sandhills.

  6. Wow, how cool, Mary! I love the red on their heads. Your flight shots are gorgeous!

  7. They are superb. The flying shots are amazing Mary.

  8. Just the other morning I observed a flock of Sandhills a little off course over Kentucky Lake. The cranes were flying. chattering and enhancing the sunrise. This was a first observation for me here. I too wondered about the intelligence of the new hunting season due to the slow rate of reproduction of the birds. Then I thought how it was the sight of a ringneck pheasant and deer heads on a hunters walls that intrigued me as a child. It was the beginning of my love of nature and discovering all the wonders out doors. Enjoyed the photos. Poor conditions a part of being a wildlife photographer. You handled it well. Get well soon!

  9. Such beautiful birds, and such a shame that some people feel the need to slaughter such beauty.

  10. Magnificent creatures! You have some awesome shots (no pun intended)! I can't believe that anyone would want to shoot to kill one of these awesome creatures. That is sad indeed.
    Sorry you have the flu. I do hope you get better soon.
    Amazing story about the Asian crane. That was quite a trip for him!!
    Again, I just love your beautiful photos.

  11. nice shots. :) They look pretty much like the cranes coming to us.
    Hope you feel better now.

  12. I don't think I've ever seen so many Cranes! Great shots!

  13. We love seeing them here in Florida! We saw a flock of over 30 a week ago and pulled over to take photos! ♥ Love your photos! ♥

  14. The misty quality of these images lend a bit of mystery that bright sun never could. The shots of the cranes lifting into the air are crazy good. Top rate. Great post!
    Feel better soon!

  15. Splendid captures and post of the cranes, Mary! Such majestic creatures and the elements only enhance your images. Not fun for camera work, but great results.
    Get well soon!

  16. SUBLIMISSIMO....the PORTRAIT of this incredibly elegant crane is OUTSTANDING, cara Mary!!!!

    The wonderful greywhite feathers, so clear & sharp; they look like "satin", it's head slightly to the is a SPECTACULARLY beautiful portrait....!!!!!!!!!

    What wonderful experience, Mary, to have encountered this beautiful creatures!!!!!

    ciao ciao


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