Sandhill Cranes at Sunset, Bosque Del Apache NWR

Sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) arrive at the “crane pools” at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge each evening. Having spent the day feeding in nearby corn fields, they will overnight standing on their long legs in the shallow pools, presumably so that they can rest in the dark with minimal threat of attack from coyotes. As the sun rises the next morning, they warm up and eventually depart to the corn fields again. This location is perhaps my favorite spot in all of Bosque del Apache. Skip and I made a point of being here for sunrise and sunset photography most days during our in visits to the Bosque in 2008 and 2010.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with sandhill cranes silhouetted in reflection in the calm pond.  Spectacular sunsets at Bosque del Apache, rich in reds, oranges, yellows and purples, make for striking reflections of the thousands of cranes and geese found in the refuge each winter, Grus canadensis, Socorro, New Mexico

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with sandhill cranes silhouetted in reflection in the calm pond. Spectacular sunsets at Bosque del Apache, rich in reds, oranges, yellows and purples, make for striking reflections of the thousands of cranes and geese found in the refuge each winter.
Image ID: 21804
Species: Sandhill crane, Grus canadensis
Location: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro, New Mexico, USA