Archive for the ‘Sandhill Cranes’ Tag

Sandhill Cranes   1 comment

Sandhill Cranes (Whitewater Draw) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Moving elegantly they
stand in shallow water
of the whitewater draw.

Their loud, trumpeting call 
creating a cacophony of sound
inspiring to nearby birders.

These crimson-capped birds
with their dignified manner
appear in a stately procession. 

— kenne

Sandhill Cranes   6 comments

Sandhill Cranes Over Whitewater Draw — Image by kenne

After leaving at sunrise
to feed in the nearby fields
hundreds of cranes return
at mid-day,
squawking in a
cacophony heard miles around.

It’s sunny with a few passing
clouds drifting overhead
in the distance
mountains rise above
the farm and ranch lands.

These big birds prefer
the shallow waters of the draw
where they stand protected
from predators who prefer
to stay out of the water.

Geese, ducks and other
waterfowl can be found
wintering here in southeast
Arizona attracting birders
with scopes and cameras.

I don’t see myself as a birder,
birders are strange
counting and taking notes
to be placed on eBird,
me, I just take photos.

Occasionally we make small talk
going through our social necessities
thinking about it or not thinking about it
walking freely on by not holding to the
moment so as not to remember.

— kenne

Returning To Whitewater Draw   Leave a comment

Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw in Southeast Arizona — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Returning to Whitewater Draw

It’s fun to watch

the amazing spectacle

of large elegant birds


from the feeding fields 


in the shallow waters

giving out loud,

rattling bugle calls


sounds across the valley.

It’s always the same,

birders with binoculars and cameras,

strapped on their shoulders

and cranes standing

in the shallow waters

of Whitewater Draw.

— kenne

Coming In For A Landing   Leave a comment

Two Sandhill Cranes Coming In For A Landing At Whitewater Draw — Image by kenne

here for the winter

spend time before heading north

to begin again

— kenne

The Sandhill Cranes Have Headed North   2 comments

The Sandhill Cranes Have Headed North — Images by kenne

Cranes flying north

To their northern breeding grounds

White-winged doves return.

— kenne

White-winged Dove — Image by kenne

Spread Your Wings   1 comment

Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area — Image by kenne

Spread Your Wings for me

Creating a movement rhythm

In the mid-day sun.

— kenne

Sandhill Cranes Flying Into the Draw   Leave a comment

Sandhill Cranes Flying Into Whitewater Draw in Southeast Arizona — Images by kenne
(The blurred dots are cranes in the distance.)

Getting Frisky   Leave a comment

“Getting Frisky” (January 20, 2022) — Image by kenne

Sandhill Cranes playing around at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area In Southern Arizona.

Flight   1 comment

“Flight” (Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Flying Inside Your Own Body
Your lungs fill & spread themselves,
wings of pink blood, and your bones
empty themselves and become hollow.
When you breathe in you’ll lift like a balloon
and your heart is light too & huge,
beating with pure joy, pure helium.
The sun’s white winds blow through you,
there’s nothing above you,
you see the earth now as an oval jewel,
radiant & seablue with love.
It’s only in dreams you can do this.
Waking, your heart is a shaken fist,
a fine dust clogs the air you breathe in;
the sun’s a hot copper weight pressing straight
down on the think pink rind of your skull.
It’s always the moment just before gunshot.
You try & try to rise but you cannot.
— Margaret Atwood

Sandhill Cranes   2 comments

Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Drew (McNeal, Arizona) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Every man is his own Pygmalion,
and spends his life fashioning himself.
And in fashioning himself, for good or ill,
he fashions the human race and its future.

–I. F. Stone

Sandhill Cranes At Whitewater Drew   1 comment

Sandhill Cranes At Whitewater Drew In Southeast Arizona — Images by kenne
(Click On An Image To See In A Slideshow Format)

Sandhill Cranes Landing At Whitewater Draw   Leave a comment

Whitewater Draw January 2014-961772-72Sandhill Cranes Landing At Whitewater Draw — Image by kenne

Gliding into land

Neck and legs sticking way out

What natural grace.

— kenne

Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw   Leave a comment

Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw-Edit-2-blogSandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Sandhill Cranes wintering in southeast Arizona and northern Sonora many have migrated from their nesting area in Siberia. 

Whitewater Draw is an Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Area is of state and regional significance as the primary wintering area for Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) in Arizona and includes both the Lesser (most numerous) and Greater subspecies. Located in the southern Sulphur Springs Valley, cranes are coming from both the Rocky Mountain population and Mid-Continental population. The area also supports wintering Snow Geese (80-200) and a few Ross?s Geese (occasional to 40). Counts of Sandhill Cranes in early January have steadily climbed from 4,000 in 1991 to over 22,000 in 2008 at Whitewater Draw, with another 13,000 present 36 miles north in the Willcox Playa area, and another 600 present in the far north of Sulphur Springs Valley at Bonita, AZ, and 400 present in the Safford Valley near Duncan. The Greater subspecies breeds in the northern states of the continental U.S., and the Lesser subspecies, breeds from Alaska and eastern Siberia. (Source:

Every year the town of Wilcox hosts Wings Over Wilcox — Birding and Nature Festival (January 17-20, 2019). Birds have been arriving for weeks now — the birds have their own schedule.

— kenne

Sandhill Cranes At Whitewater Draw   4 comments

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area is located in the Sulphur Springs Valley in southeast Arizona. It consists of 1,528 acres and is owned and managed by Arizona Game and Fish Department. The area supports an average wintering population of about 22,000 sandhill cranes. Located about two hours from my home in Tucson, on December 30th I spent a couple mid-day hours photographing these large beautiful birds.


(Click on any of the images to see a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Birders Flock To Whitewater Draw   11 comments

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Whitewater Draw 3014-9558 blogSandhill Cranes spend the winter at the Whitewater Draw in southern Arizona. — Images by kenne

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