Sandhill Cranes in Cecilia

Sandhill cranes fly across the sunset headed to their roost site in Cecilia, KY.

I had a chance to sneak out to Cecilia, Kentucky this afternoon to see if I could grab a photograph of some sandhill cranes.  The area just west of Cecilia is an important stopover site on the northward migration route of the Eastern Population “EP”of Sandhill cranes.  The EP has grown dramatically in recent decades and was counted in the Fall of 2011 to be at least 72,000 cranes.  In February, much of the EP passes through Cecilia on it’s way back to the Great Lakes region where they nest.  Concentrations in the Cecilia area may exceed 7,000 cranes which is a pretty spectacular sight.

I seem to always have  bad luck when trying to photograph cranes at Cecilia.  The weather just hasn’t been cooperative.  So when I saw that there was a good forecast for this evening, I called a couple friends and headed out.  The had been a count of 6,900 from the evening before so we knew cranes were around.  As soon as we headed west out of Cecilia, the sky filled with cranes.  There were thousands of cranes feeding in the fields and flying by in the sky overhead.  It is an awesome sight to see.

Sandhill cranes feeding around Cecilia.
Sandhill Cranes in flight. Nikon D7000 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4.
Sandhill crane flocks headed to roost. Nikon D7000 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4.
More sunset shots. Nikon D7000 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4.
Sandhill cranes headed to their roost. Nikon D7000 with AFS Nikkor 600mm f/4.
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