These beautiful shots of Sandhill Cranes were taken by my sister Becky (who owns the copyright thereto). She lives in Colorado about two and a half hours away from the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge.
moves make for spectacular photo ops.
From the Crane Fest website
Late in February, sandhill cranes, the San Luis Valley’s oldest visitors, begin their annual trek from south to north, stopping off near the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to load up on fuel. For millions of years, the sandhills have been spending their "Spring Break" in Colorado’s Valley of the Cranes and more recently, wildlife watchers have been drawn to wonder at this phenomenal natural spectacle.
No one really knows what the early residents of southern Colorado thought about this majestic migration of cranes, but they were paying attention to it. High on a rocky cliff face southwest of Monte Vista is a well-protected six foot long petroglyph that is unmistakably a sandhill crane. So, as much as 2,000 years ago, humans were celebrating the return of these magnificent birds to the Valley of the Cranes.