Sandhill Cranes of Merced Wildlife Refuge

It was the end of winter, and soon the birds would be flying off to their summer nesting areas far north of here, but for now, the Sandhill Cranes and Ross’s Geese were swarming in the wetland. We arrived shortly before sunset, and for the last hour of teh day, thousands of cranes and geese flew in from all directions, landing with a great deal of noise and fanfare. As the light faded, we checked into a motel in Los Banos and set the alarm for five AM. After a quick cup of coffee, we were back at the refuge. This time the show ran in reverse, thousands of birds taking to the air over the next hour.

They will return next winter, and it is a sight worth seeing.

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