Tag Archives: Sandhill Cranes

Wings on Wednesday

This would normally be a Wordless Wednesday post. However, several weeks ago Roberta Beyer, owner of The Fat Finch, asked me to lead a photo workshop as an event for her wonderful birding store. I happily agreed, and I wondered if anyone would attend. The event proved popular far beyond our expectations. I recruited favorite birding friend Bosque Bill to assist me, and Roberta recruited two more photographers. Our little group met at The Fat Finch early this past Saturday morning. After a basic “How to operate your camera” talk by Bosque Bill we set off to photograph birds. Everyone had a wonderful time, and most participants learned how to move their cameras off of the automatic settings.

Here are some photos of birds that I took during the workshop:

Sandhill Crane portrait, Rio Grande Nature Center

Sandhill Crane portrait

Sandhill Crane portrait, Rio Grande Nature Center

Sandhill Crane portrait, another view.

Sandhill Cranes, Rio Grande Nature Center

Sandhill Cranes fly into the Rio Grande Nature Center.

Sandhill Crane, Rio Grande Nature Center

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane, Rio Grande Nature Center

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Cranes, Rio Grande Nature Center

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane, Rio Grande Nature Center

Sandhill Crane coming in for a landing.

Spotted Towhee, Rio Grande Nature Center

Spotted Towhee

Canada Goose portrait, Rio Grande Nature Center

Canada Goose portrait

Canada Goose enjoying the sun, Rio Grande Nature Center

Canada Goose enjoying the sun

It was a fine workshop put on by New Mexico’s best birding store. Be sure to visit The Fat Finch when you’re in the Albuquerque area!

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Earth Day 2011

For Earth Day 2011, a photo of one of my favorite places, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, located about 90 miles south of my house. I am thankful that such places exist. I took this photo on February 5, 2011.

Sandhill Cranes & Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes & Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

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An Early Spring Visit to Bosque del Apache

A couple of weekends ago Bosque Bill and I went to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Winter is the usual time to visit the refuge because of the many Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese that winter there. Because birding has been pretty slow in northern New Mexico lately, we decided to travel to Bosque del Apache to see if there were any interesting birds.

It was a gorgeous early spring day. The light was beautiful.

A beautiful day at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

A beautiful day at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

At one pond along the Marsh Loop we saw several Black-necked Stilts wading and feeding.

Black-necked Stilts

Black-necked Stilts

In another pond on the Marsh Loop we saw Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants.

Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants

Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants.

Neotropic Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants.

Juvenile Neotropic Cormorant

Juvenile Neotropic Cormorant;

There were quite a few Painted Turtles sunning themselves in the pond where we saw the cormorants.

Painted Turtles

Painted Turtles.

We saw Redheads in still another pond on the Marsh Loop …

Males and female Redhead

Males and female Redhead

… and Cinnamon Teal in the same pond.

Male and female Cinnamon Teal

Male and female Cinnamon Teal.

There was a Pied-billed Grebe in that pond too.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe.

As we continued around the Marsh Loop, we saw a pretty Say’s Phoebe in a New Mexico olive tree.

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe.

A Red-tailed Hawk flew through the cottonwoods.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk.

There were many Northern Shovelers in the Farm Loop pond …

Male and female Northern Shovelers

Male and female Northern Shovelers.

… and there were many more Cinnamon Teal in the Farm Loop pond as well.

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon Teal

We had been told at the Visitors’ Center that the Sandhill Cranes had left for the year, and so we were surprised to see several hundred Lesser Sandhill Cranes at the Crane Pools as we left the refuge.

Lesser Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

Lesser Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

We went to Bosque del Apache with few expectations, and we had a lovely time. The green chile cheeseburgers that we had for lunch at the Buckhorn Saloon were outstanding too!

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Sandhill Crane, Rio Grande Boulevard.

Sandhill Cranes, Rio Grande Boulevard.

Sandhill Crane, Rio Grande Boulevard.

Sandhill Crane, Rio Grande Boulevard.

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Special Edition-Bosque Bill and the Bird

This past weekend Bosque Bill and I decided to attend a photo workshop at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. After leaving for Socorro at 5:30 a.m. in the bitter cold, we met at the crane pools for some early morning photos. There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground from the previous week’s storm.

Crane pool at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Crane pool at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

We toured around the refuge as a group, using the opportunity to take some photos of birds …

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

… and wildlife.

Coyote

Coyote

During our classroom instruction we were excited to learn that Matt Mitchell was going to bring his two Harris Hawks out for us to photograph in the afternoon. The hawks were beautiful.

Matt Mitchell and one of his Harris Hawks.

Matt Mitchell and one of his Harris Hawks.

The birds very obligingly perched on low bushes …

Harris Hawks preparing to fly so that we can photograph them.

Harris Hawks preparing to fly so that we can photograph them.

… and flew toward us.

Harris Hawk taking off.

Harris Hawk taking off.

Harris Hawk flying toward us.

Harris Hawk flying toward us.

I guess you can never predict where a hawk will land.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

Bosque Bill and the Harris Hawk.

Bosque Bill is looking for a bird to photograph. I'd suggest a shorter lens.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

"I wonder if the Canon warranty covers Harris Hawk scratches?"

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

"Hey Bosque Bill-the other hawk is over there!"

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

The hawk and Bosque Bill find a new subject to photograph.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill

The hawk spies Matt.

Harris Hawk and Matt Mitchell.

The hawk flies back to Matt.

After a lovely afternoon with Matt Mitchell and his Harris Hawks, we returned to the crane pools to watch the cranes fly in …

Sandhill Crane fly-in, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Crane fly-in.

… and enjoy the sunset.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill cranes fly in at sunset.

It was another magical day at Bosque del Apache

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Sandhill Crane silhouettes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Crane silhouettes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

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Bosque del Apache Landscapes

I love going to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I feel very fortunate to live close enough that I can be there in about an 1 1/2 hours, which means that I can go there almost any time that I want to go. Usually I concentrate on photographing birds. Last weekend Bosque Bill and I went there, and I decided to take some photos to show what a beautiful place it is. There will still be birds, of course.

Looking east from the Flight Deck.

Looking east from the Flight Deck.


Looking to the west across the crane pools.

Looking to the west across the crane pools.


Looking to the east on the Farm Loop.

Looking to the east on the Farm Loop.


Looking to the east across the Farm Pond.

Looking to the east across the Farm Pond.


Looking to the northwest as the snow geese fly overhead.

Looking to the northwest as the snow geese fly overhead.


Waves of Snow Geese fly over the fields at Bosque del Apache.

Waves of Snow Geese fly over the fields at Bosque del Apache.


One of the crane pools at dusk.

One of the crane pools at dusk.


Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese fly in at sunset.

Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese fly in at sunset.

Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.


Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


A view of sunset over the crane pools at Bosque del Apache.

A view of sunset over the crane pools at Bosque del Apache.

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico


Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail male, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail male and female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintails and Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintails take flight, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

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An Autumn Visit to Bosque del Apache

Last weekend I was fortunate to have birding friends from Colorado come to New Mexico to visit. One place I always enjoy taking visiting birders is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is located southeast of Socorro, New Mexico. Fall is a particularly lovely time to visit the refuge.

We arrived to find the bosque cottonwoods in full fall color.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

The pond at the north end of the refuge held thousands of Snow Geese.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge showing color morphs.

It was lovely to watch the Snow Geese against the fall colors.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache.


There were hundreds of Northern Pintails in the pond with the Snow Geese.
Female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Female Northern Pintail.


Male Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Male Northern Pintail.


Male and female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Northern Pintail pair.

A Bald Eagle would occasionally circle the pond, causing the Snow Geese and Northern Pintails to take to the air amid a flurry of honking and quacking.

Bald Eagle takes flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Bald Eagle takes flight, disturbing the ducks and geese.


Snow geese take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Snow geese take flight after being disturbed by a Bald Eagle.


Northern Pintails take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

The Northern Pintails were disturbed by the Bald Eagle too.


Sandhill Cranes were in many of the shallow ponds in the refuge …
Sandhill Cranes and Northern Pintails at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes wade in a shallow pond as Northern Pintails fly by.

… and we watched them fly over our heads for most of the day.

Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes flew overhead for most of the day.

As we drove over to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in, we saw a variety of birds.

American Kestrel at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

American Kestrel hovering.


Greater Roadrunner at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Greater Roadrunner surveys the terrain.


Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks singing in the trees.


White-tailed Kite at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

White-tailed Kite, almost out of camera range.

As evening drew near we drove to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in. There were not huge numbers of cranes there yet, but still, it is a wonderful spectacle.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes coming in for a landing at the crane pools.


Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes circle in against the fading light.


As we left Bosque del Apache after a wonderful day, we watched a new moon set over the mountains to the west.
New moon at sunset north of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

New moon at sunset.


It was a wonderful day!

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