Sunday, 14 November 2010

Macro Monday: Feathers

Well, you are all going to be very happy with me this week. I was going to give you one of my Macro Mysteries and get you to try and guess the animal. But then I thought, why bother? Everyone will know that it is a bird and then nearly everyone will be stumped - except of course Susannah over at Wanderin' Weeta, she will know what it is, since she just did a post on them.

So, instead, here is the macro photo:


And here is the elegant and graceful bird to which these feathers belong:





They are sandhill cranes. I was so excited when I first saw them, thinking that they must be some rare, exotic bird that had somehow got lost and ended up on the cold, damp coast of British Columbia. But no, these long-legged beauties are supposed to be here. In fact, there are always here. Still, that does not change the fact that they are the most striking of birds, wearing their plumage like a haughty couture model, strutting her stuff down a runway in Milan.



These birds may seem rather imposing and arrogant, but when all is said and done, they are actually the most endearing of birds. They pair for life, migrating together back and forth, year in, year out, between overwintering grounds in the north and summer breeding habitats further south. They dance for each other and they dance and run with their offspring, teaching them how to fly. They will also let you get very close, which is always good when you are looking for a macro shot.......


 Until they decide that it is time to move on.......




For more Macro Monday, go here.

25 comments:

Jay said...

Aren't they cute? The feathers in that first shot are really striking - those golden ones in amongst the others, seemingly random, and yet not.

Wonderful!!

Jessica said...

WOW! Those birds are beautiful and so are your pictures!!

GrandmaK said...

I hate to sound redundant but WOW!!! Well done!!! The feathers are just beautiful! Cathy

tammymcchesney said...

Gorgeous images of that beautiful bird...I love the colors and details you captured in his feather!

Sandhill cranes migrate through here (in Nebraska) every Spring...every year I go out and see them and still have not gotten a good picture! You did awesome!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

What gorgeous birds and elegant shots. The macro is amazing!

Kala said...

They are beautiful birds and I love that they pair for life. Great details in the photo of their feathers.

Kebeni said...

I want one!! They are so cool and you got some great snaps of them.

Laurie said...

Beautiful

Maaike said...

beautiful shots!

"Lillagul" said...

Great shot´s on the beutiful birds !
Great text too :)

Marie said...

Gorgeous birds and the feather macro shot i awesome. Love the color.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Amazing!!! However did you get so close to get the feathers like that in the first photo is beyond me. But, I'm glad you did.

My Macro is in a NUT SHELL

Plant chaser said...

How ever did you get the feather macro without scaring the bird? Or even to get it to hold still. Amazing! The second picture makes me think of some fur-coated grand dame.

jabblog said...

It always cheers me when I read of yet more creatures in the animal kingdom that mate for life. We could learn much from nature if we only paid attention.

Liz said...

those are amazing. We have blue harren here, but have yet to get close enough for a good shot. i love the head shot one with the sun in his eyes. beautiful

namaki said...

beautiful photos of beautiful birds !!

Susannah (Wanderin' Weeta) said...

Beautiful macro shot! We tried to get the feathers, but the light was bad and all the photos were noisy. And we were being very, very careful; a few years back, Laurie was badly bitten by a parent with young. Took a chunk right out of his leg!

And thanks for the link!

Lui,Heaven said...

What. A. Great. Macro!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

What a great post, and so informative. They are rather impressive birds aren't they? Great macro shot of the feathers.
Molly

Cortes said...

I know it supposed to be Macro Monday, and all of the photos are really great, but my favorite is the flock in flight depicted in the last photo. Great shot!

Lauren said...

Those little beauties live here?! Really?! I can't decide whether to run outside & have a look, or start Googling. Fantastic pics - as always!

Springman said...

Good Lord girl! What a set! You are a skilled professional!

Johnny Nutcase said...

whaaat! your sandhill shots are freaking awesome! i love 'em! And im jealous, all the sandhills i've seen are too far away for good photos and the ones i get within 30 feet of, i'm in the field working and don't have my camera. I love these birds. and these photos are perfect! Thumbs up!!

Don't Bug Me! said...

Jay: They are gordeous and really quite friendly.

Jessica: Thank you!

GrandmaK: Thank you too!

Tammy: We are lucky here, since the cranes stick around year long and are quite used to people, so it really isn't hard to get a good shot.

PS: It did turn out well, and that was't even taken with my macro lens.

Kala: Me too - I wonder why?

Kebeni: I think a pair would go quite nicely in my garden and I am pretty sure that thesse are birds that even my cats wouldn't dare try to chase!

Laurie: Indeed.

Maaike: Thank you

Lillagul: Glad you enjoyed it!

Hootin': The birds are very used to people and I believe they get fed, so they will let you get quite close - but not too close - they really are quite large!

Plant chaser: See above - it helps when they let you get very close!

Jabblog: Why are we so endeared by animals that mate for life?

Liz: There are also blue herons at this reserve and they too let you get pretty close - great for photography.

Namaki: It is hard to take a bad photo of them!

Susannah: Thanks for the inspiration! And yes, you do have to be a bit careful with them - they are big birds, afterall!

Lui: Thank. You!

Molly: They really are - just love them.

Cortes: That shot was a rather wild, point in the general direction of the departing birds - luckily it worked!

Lauren: Really! They do! I was just as surprised as you when I first saw them. Go to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Ladner, they are always there.

Springman: Skilled? Lucky? Perhaps a little bit of both. Definitely not very professional though :o)

Johnny Nutcase: High praise coming from you, so thank you. Come on up to British Columbia and you will get a good look - and there is lots of fabulous hiking for you here. Just think of all the squirrels, chipmunks, ground squirrels, pikas and marmots just waiting for you......

Katherine said...

Ooh, ooh, I know something about sandhill cranes. ANd it's to do with Godwits, my favourite birds.
Sandhill cranes eat baby Godwits. But only on lemming and other rodent-poor years. On lemming-rich years the Godwits pair will delay their mating, well, nest-making, until after the Sandhill cranes have made theirs. Then (in contrast to the lemming-poor years, when they do the opposite and locate as far away as possible), they will make their own nest quite close to that of the ShC, in order to be under its raucous protection 'umbrella', so they don't have to protect their own nest, and can save their energy.