Deep in a lonely field, far from prying human and other unwanted eyes, the sandhill cranes quietly gathered in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. This had been coming for a long time, they all knew it, and as they assembled they knew it would all be decided.
Last, as befitting them, the contestants came to the field–they were in no hurry for they knew those gathered would wait, more or less patiently. They landed amongst the crowd and each took their rightful place, facing each other. The intensity in the air was palpable and all of nature held her breath in anticipation of the outcome.
Wings were raised and outstretched. Far wider than one might think possible, their mighty wings were held to each side. Heads raised they each let out their call, using all their might, all the effort and all of themselves. The result was impressive, to say the least. Wings flapped, cranes called, and the matter quickly, although not quietly, settled.
The cranes drifted back into the afternoon to await the next call. It would come soon.