Friday, January 6, 2012

Gruiform mugging averted.

I believe this to be the Reifel Bird Sanctuary's resident Sandhill Crane couple with their latest tot. Note how Mom and Dad are giving us the eye.  That's because some in our party are carrying little brown paper bags full of grain, which were purchased at the gate.  If you want to meet a Sandhill Crane up close and threatening, tote a little brown paper bag at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  They know what's within, and will come for it.  They might even hunt you down.

This time, however, they hesitated.  Perhaps they didn't feel like flying the fifty or so feet to get to our side of the slough. Or perhaps they weren't hungry, having recently pirated numerous other small brown paper bags.  Or perhaps they have short attention spans and forgot what had piqued their interest a second or two after I said to out party, "Now's when we hide the small brown paper bags."
In any case, they trumpeted in unison, and then turned away.

And then I noticed something interesting:  A crane's reflection is sharper than the crane itself.  I don't know what that means, but it sounds profound.

7 comments:

ingrid said...

I had no idea the brown-paper-bag concept existed at Reifel. I've been wanting to visit there, and hope to make it while the cranes are around. As far as the sharp reflections, could that be the illusion of autofocus grabbing the higher-contrast reflections instead of the birds? :-)

Hugh said...

ingrid, the cranes are almost always there; during fall migration there can be a lot. During breeding season, the trails near the nest(s) may be blocked off, so if you want to visit in spring you might want to contact the sanctuary first. Your suggestion about the contrast makes sense to me.

pattib said...

Hugh, I like the idea of profundity. Thanks again for the smile.

Patricia Lichen said...

Aha, I suspected you had more photos up your sleeve!

Hugh said...

pattib, there's definitely something profound about cranes.

Pat, Right you were. Lately I've been getting out so infrequently that I have to ration my posts to singular mind-blowing sorts of mind-blowing things.

swamp4me said...

"...up close and threatening" pretty much describes how it can feel when these cranes lock onto you with an eye. I've only ever seen them in a captive situation. I would love to see them in a more natural setting.

Dave said...

Brown paper bags are what Reifel are all about ... we've got our own little Reifel out at Lazo Marsh here in the Comox Valley. Not sure how I feel about it :)

Happy New Year!