Calling All Craniacs

One of my favorite sights to see in Alaska, or anywhere for that matter, is the image of sandhill cranes flying overhead … oh, and the sound of them as they call out to each other, let’s not forget that.  On our approach to Fairbanks, I heard distinctive calling out of the sandhills and I hoped that we would have good sightings in town.DSC_0568We figured that we would go to Creamers Field, a place where I first saw sandhill cranes in Alaska numerous years ago.  Sure enough … they were there …. coming in and taking off.  As luck would have it too, we hit Fairbanks and Creamers during the Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival.  Perfect timing for a self-proclaimed craniac like me!DSC_9923The fields were filled with sandhills of various ages, as well as geese and other birds, and the occasional hawk that would swoop in and cause a commotion within the smaller birds.DSC_0184Whether in the air or on the ground, there was a lot of calling out and communication going on with these beautiful cranes.  Photographically, it was awesome to shoot them amidst the yellow wildflowers that sporadically filled the field.DSC_0803Eagle-eye Tom spotted a juvenile crane that caught a small rodent while feeding in the field and pranced around quite a bit with it, causing both the adults and the other juveniles to take chase.DSC_9987But this young wasn’t to be denied his prize.DSC_0011Always fascinating were the take-offs of the cranes, usually 3-7 at a time.  So graceful and skilled in their execution of pre-flight and eventually flight.DSC_0389We could see them soaring overhead, with their magnificent and impressive wingspan, all throughout town.  Of course, you could hear them calling out too.  Love that sound.DSC_0422We visited the field the next day too, though at that point, the festival was over.  That didn’t matter to them though, as they were still there calling and flying in and out.  🙂DSC_0868DSC_0270On a side note, Tom and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary in Fairbanks too.  Love you babe.  Seems like we should have gone to Chena Hot Springs for an official anniversary, but the weather wasn’t cooperating for any chance at more northern light sightings.IMG_1038Next Up:  Denali National Park

© 2015  TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy

http://www.tnwaphotography.com

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