Have you heard of Whitewater Draw? Whitewater Draw is a swampy marsh area in McNeal, in southern AZ, east of Bisbee and north of Douglas (pretty much the border of AZ / Mexico).
Because of the food sources (namely corn fields) and marsh ponds, the sandhill crane flock to Whitewater Draw in droves in the winter months, Oct – March.
They sleep in the ponds to protect themselves from predators. Every morning they lift-off and go to graze in nearby fields.
In the afternoon some come back (between 10 am – noon) to rest and socialize in the ponds.
Just before sunset there is a mass fly in when the cranes come back for the night.
It is a sight to see! The noise of the cranes is deafening. The shear quantity of birds is impressive to say the least.
We participated in a Photo Workshop put on by Arizona Game & Fish (AZGFD). We watched the cranes take off from a distance crossing the moon in their path.
George Andrejko, AZGFD’s professional photographer for more than 20 years, walked around with us through the walking paths, pointing out different birds, and ducks along the way. Where else can you get a one on one with such a gifted and renown Arizona photographer? It was a special experience, one I would do again in a heartbeat.
The mere $25 fee to participate goes to a good cause so that the AZGFD can continue to care for the site and put on more such events.
We not only learned about the site, but were able to speak with talented and knowledgable AZGFD personnel. We met new and interesting like-minded people, enjoyed the outdoors, and had a ‘show’ throughout the day.
See more bird pix here ….https://kritterspaw.com/2022/02/06/birds-a-feather/ and https://kritterspix.com/2022/02/06/birds-in-flight-bif-photography/