See my original post on Nature Photography Blog
Sandhill Crane landing in golden light, Ladd S. Gordon Waterfowl Complex (Bernardo Unit), New Mexico. Sandill Cranes (Grus canadenis, Grue du Canada, SACR) are regal, gray, and three to four feet tall. They depend on shallow wetlands and open parries for their survival. Cranes mate for life and can live for 30 years in the wild. Their remarkable calls can be heard a mile away, but even more compelling are the musical duets sung by mated pairs. The most striking part of Crane courtship, though, is their dancing. Male and female bow low to each other and then jump high into the air, like bouncing balls, in the annual mating rite.