Sandhill or Whooping cranes are kind of amazing birds. An adult male like this one stand 4 feet high at the shoulders. So with that long neck, he's at eye level with your average 6 foot tall man.
This pair has been hanging out in a field close to my house. I'm hoping to get some shots of chicks a little later in the spring! They usually have two chicks, but these guys also live 20-40 years, so I wonder how long this particular pair has been nesting here?
While they mostly eat leftover grain and such, they are omnivores and I think here the female has just grabbed a worm. Those long stiletto like beak are something you want to stay away from though. They have the power to pierce a human skull with one strike I am told.
Then there is the tri-color fox that's been hanging around too. Hunting mice and chizzlers in the grassy meadows.
Not wanting to be too close for sure, but a very curious little guy none the less.
As I was photographing him, he decided to approach the pair of sandhills. He just trotted behind them for a bit. Whenever they moved, he followed. While a fox may get an unprotected chick every now and then, there is no way he'd take on a adult. The birds were totally unconcerned by his presence.
Bluebirds were flitting all around me, but this was the only one to sit still enough for a quick shot.
The clouds had been rapidly rolling in during all this, and now it started to pour. The fox headed for the shelter of the trees and I soon retreated to the dry inside of my van.
All these critters are part of what I love so much about where I live!