A sandhill crane is not the type of bird that one normally associates with Alaska, but they make regular appearances in locations such as Fairbanks. These are large migratory birds that are predominately found in North America. In fact, they are Alaska’s largest game bird, favoring grasslands, meadows, and wetlands. Sandhill cranes begin to flock at Creamers Field in May and then stay for several months.
Creamers Field is a former dairy in Fairbanks and now an 1800-acre wildlife refuge managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This was one of the places where we headed after getting into Fairbanks a couple of days early. Upon arrival, we spotted a flock of sandhill cranes in the distant fields. We bolted out of the rental car and started to photograph them immediately. As expected, they quickly moved away the crazy people with cameras. This was one of my initial images before the flock commenced to be a mere speck in our viewfinders.