Readers’ wildlife photographs

Don’t worry: I have all the photos people sent me when I was in Poland (I’m back now).  They will appear in time—at least the good photos—but today we must have some photos of Stephen Barnard from Idaho. He has a backlog, too, but these just came, and are lovely. His notes are indented:

There were more than thirty Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) in the newly cut alfalfa field today and they were making quite a racket. They gather into large groups before migration.







As a lagniappe, one of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) fledglings was hanging out by the ponds.


And a landscape:

Smoke from the Pioneer Fire, over 100 miles away, looking north to the Wood River Valley.




  1. Posted August 17, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos Stephen! I love the Sandhill Cranes. We get lots of them around here (Minnesota, Wisconsin) now too.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Very good photos of those cranes. You certainly don’t need a visit to the gathering in Nebraska to see Sandhills.

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Stephen! These are really good photos. I am dimly realizing that the cranes we kept seeing in northern Michigan last year were probably Sandhills.

    • Posted August 18, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Almost certainly, though there are now a reasonable number of Whooping Cranes alive.

  4. keith cook ±
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Very nice, particularly liked the Wood RiverValley shot.

  5. Kevin
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Landscape is fantastic.

  6. Posted August 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks very much, Stephen, for your fantastic photos!. Isn’t it strange that there is neither fish nor fowl nor nightjar discernible in the landscape shot?! 🙂

  7. Larry
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful landscape. Wow.

  8. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted August 17, 2016 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Stephen. Great photos as usual!
    What is the current conservation status of the sandhill crane? I seem to recall that they were previously critically endangered.
    Has this improved?

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted August 18, 2016 at 12:50 am | Permalink

      It depends on the subspecies.
      The Lesser Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis canadensis comes in at 400,000+ members and is Least Concern.
      The one you may be thinking of is the Greater Sandhill Crane Grus c. tabida, which by 1940 was down to 1000 individuals and has recovered to about 100,000.
      There are various other subspecies with much smaller numbers, including some that do not migrate and are at risk.

      All this courtesy of Wikipedia.

  9. Stephen Barnard
    Posted August 18, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the compliments.

    The landscape is an HDR combination of three photos at +/- 1 ev. The evening sun filtered by the smoke casts a strange light on the foreground and accentuates the recession of the mountains, giving the photo, I think, an other worldly, even menacing quality. There’s certainly a bird in there somewhere. Find it! 🙂

    Regarding the cranes, there are quite a few here. I have a few photos of crane chicks (called colts), but none of good quality. Whenever I get close to one it hides in the alfalfa.

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