Sandhill Cranes on Lake Michigan

Gold to Gray
|Sandhill Crane, Late Fall, sporting near complete Gray Winter Plumage vs. the Golden/Orange Plumage of Summer|

       While shooting mid-day scenery at Christmas Cove, Northport, MI, I received a text message from a great friend. He told me that there was a pair of Sandhill Cranes slowly walking through a small inland pool of water on lake Michigan looking for a meal. After reading the message, I instantly dropped my current idea to follow up on my friends sighting. When I arrived fifteen minutes later, the two Cranes were still there, I parked on the side of a small road and hiked down to the lake to watch from a distance to see what the two Cranes were doing. I watched with my Canon 400mm F5.6L prime, I slowly approached the pair as the day started to move closer to mid-evening. After photographing Sandhill Cranes several times before, I had a very good understanding of the distance and positions I needed to keep to prevent the pair from undergoing any forms of stress. I stayed hidden in the foreground flora cover peeking my lens through occasionally to sight in the two cranes feeding from the small pool. I hope everyone enjoys this personal, yet respectful photograph of these wonderful birds!!

       Respectful wildlife photography is difficult and frustrating, but it is a must. If one foolishly rushes into an area and creates a stressful environment for the animal, then they do not truly love wildlife. One must respect the animal fully and be very cautious not to place stress on them at all! Please practice respectful wildlife photography techniques in the field, even if  the shot is missed, an opportunity will arise again, when  the photograph is made properly and respectfully, it will feel so much better!

Technical details: 
Above: Canon 7D, Canon 400mm F5.6L lens, ISO 125, F/8, 1/400th second.
Below: Canon 7D, Canon 400mm F5.6L lens, ISO 125, F/8, 1/500th second.

Crane Couple

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