Bosque del Apache

Over Christmas, we went to Bosque del Apache, a wildlife refuge. It’s a major place for watching the migration of sandhill cranes and is filled with tons of other bird species, too. I had read somewhere that at sunrise, the birds take off in large groups and sound somewhat like a jet engine. I was somewhat skeptical, but there was no way that I was going to pass up the chance to witness something like that.

We got to the park, and I set up cameras. Lots of other photographers were already there, so I was pretty excited. Did I mention that it was below freezing? Yeah.

One flock took flight, and it was pretty cool.


This happened a couple of times. But at sunrise, we suddenly heard a rumbling, which I assumed was a truck coming our way, but it was, in fact, the sound of thousands of cranes taking flight. It was breathtaking.

Obviously, this experience is incredibly hard to capture without sound, but here’s my best shot.


For the full effect, though, you probably need a video.

Unfortunately, we didn’t stay long after sunrise, as we were on our way to Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains, but I did manage to get one decent shot of the cranes in daylight.


I learned two things that day: 1) I neither have the camera nor the skills required for wildlife photography; 2) I don’t care.

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