Crane Calling


Two Sandhill Cranes call to each other at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Crane Calling shows us that moment.


Deep in a lonely field, far from prying unwanted human, and other,  eyes, the sandhill cranes quietly gathered in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. The gathering had been coming for a long time, they all knew it, and as they assembled they knew it would all be decided. Crane Calling is the result of that conclave.

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. Despite the contestant’s preparation, the outcome was in doubt.

The cranes raised their wings. Far wider than one might think possible, their mighty wings soared 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.

But, the process repeated several times, until, at last, the victor emerged.

The cranes drifted back into the afternoon to await the next call. It would come soon.

More from the Bosque del Apache

You can see more awe-inspiring moments from the Bosque del Apache in Geese Drop-In, Bosque Surreal and Shadow Geese.

Additional information


Matted Photograph, Finished Aluminum