location: harney county
backstory: before moving to this area i had never seen or heard of sandhill cranes. there is something about their personality, so... strong. in this area you know spring is on the way when you can hear their very distinctive calling way high in the sky as they migrate.
on the ground, when they call, they stretch their necks straight up. fascinating. they fly in formation with great precision. sandhills also have a very elaborate mating dance.
this scene is part of the bird migratory path through harney county, that includes the malheur wildlife refuge. it is such a joy when driving through a fairly barren and desolate high desert to crest a ridge and see these amazing creatures. there is something deeply intriguing about the red area around the golden eyes.