Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sandhill Crane family visits Eagle Optics

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As a kid, when our family took car trips, my 3 siblings and I always played The Horse and Cow Game. It was a game we devised to keep us amused while the miles rolled away, and it kept my parents sane--at least temporarily. Once the game was declared, we'd scan the landscape with deep intensity, calling out animals as we saw them. A herd of cows was worth 5 points, horses 10, pigs and sheep 15, and the rare deer sighting earned 50. The winner was declared when we arrived.  If the destination was home, I could always count on 10 points when we passed a pony farm two miles from our house. It was my ace in the hole and, often, it was just enough to win.

Nowadays when I drive in the country and see Sandhill Cranes, I sometimes smile and ponder how many points they'd be worth in the Horse and Cow Game.  We do see cranes with a fair amount of regularity in the midwest, standing in pairs or family groups in farm fields, foraging for plants and grains, snails, amphibians, small rodents, and reptiles. It's always a pleasure to spot them, especially the young ones, called colts.  Recently, we were fortunate to have a crane family visit the field across the street from Eagle Optics.  We all grabbed bins to observe them, and I digiscoped the photos below. Their elegance and beauty were mesmerizing. I'd say any time you spot these birds, you're an automatic winner!
Nina Cheney
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.

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