Thank goodness I took the ranger’s advice and made another trip around the Merced National Wildlife Refuge because I got the best shots I’ve ever gotten of Sand Hill Cranes.
I’ve always thought Sand Hill Cranes were gray, closer to these cranes
than these cranes.
I had never seen a juvenile Sand Hill Crane before I noticed that this crane didn’t look like any cranes I had seen before.
There turned out to be quite a few juveniles, and most were still surrounded by two very attentive parents.
It was rather rare to see a young bird with a single parent.
By the time we left the refuge, hundreds, if not thousands, of Sand Hill Cranes
had returned to the refuge.