Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sandhills, Fox, and a Bluebird

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!


  1. Thank you for the wonderful photos and sharing your neighbors!

  2. We so enjoy seeing the amazing and beautiful nature in your backyard. Someday when our tiny home is dimple, we are planning to head west.

  3. Great photos! Thanks for facilitating my virtual visit to your pristine wilderness!

  4. Fox hunting is a traditional and royal hunting sport, popularized all over the world by the British. Hunting dogs or foxhounds are trained to chase and attack foxes from their hiding places, and these are followed by hunters on the horses.