17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Sandhill Crane Blastoff

I was just about to wind down a morning of bird photography in the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge when an enormous flock of sandhill cranes suddenly took off en masse in front of me. I don't know what the threat was, but suspect they were spooked by a coyote in the field or an eagle flying overhead. I’m thankful to bear witness to the fragile and ancient beauty of these magnificent creatures. It boggles my mind that the oldest fossil dates back 2.5 million years.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2019
Photo Location: San Antonio, New Mexico, United States of America
Camera: X-T3
Copyright: © Susan Preston