Sandhill Cranes – 365-034

sandhill cranes at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

Sunday we drove to the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area to see the sandhill cranes return from their morning feeding to roost at the wetland. We first experienced this last year and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. It is quite a site to see hundreds and eventually thousands of sandhill cranes appear in the sky from the north (where their feeding ground is), circle around and land. At first all you see is a faint smudge on the horizon and then you can begin to see their v-formation. But long before that, you can hear them calling to each other, and as more and more birds land, the air is filled with their “trilling” calls.

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, with cirrus clouds in the sky early and then by noon the clouds had all dissipated.

Arizona clouds

sandhill cranes

There were many people there taking pictures with far better cameras than I have. This was the best my zoom function could do:

sandhill cranes

These ducks were much closer and more cooperative!

ducks at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

As was this duck.


I just couldn’t stop taking pictures!

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

sandhill cranes landing

We picked the perfect day! At first it felt a bit windy, but as it got closer to noon, the wind lessened and the sun warmed us up. By the time we headed back to our car for our picnic lunch, it was warm enough to remove coats. What more can you ask for in January?


  1. Anita

    We have a couple of sandhill cranes here that I see from
    time to time. I haven’t captured them in a photo yet.
    So seeing your photos makes me want to find them and try.

  2. Tracy


  3. Kara

    What a fun series to look at. Pretty!

  4. Carol

    What a gorgeous day! I missed the sandhill cranes dh saw a couple of weeks ago. Maybe next time. And what a contrast to the weather this week.

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