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Sosuke Sakai

Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima, Japan

Kerry Rudy

Sandhill Cranes Seen on a Night Airboat Ride

Kissimmee, Florida, USA

April 13, 2009, 7:33 pm local time

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© 2009 Kerry Rudy, All Rights Reserved.

Caption

While making a virtual tour for Boggy Creek Airboat Company, it was suggested that I shoot a panorama of a night-time airboat ride. It was a great ride and all of a sudden the pilot powered down and aimed his spotlight towards shore where there were about 2o-30 Sandhill Cranes. I have seen these huge birds for years. They have a wingspan of 6-8 feet. You can hear and see them trumpeting at night while soaring overhead on their way home. They are monogamous and it is a treat to see the family walking along with a little fuzzy one. (A baby crane is called a colt.) They mate for life. Their mating dance is something to see. I saw my first dance on the tee of a local golf course. Good excuse for a sorry tee shot! They give a loud trumpeting call and they stand together and call in a synchronized duet. Like most species, the female gets in twice the calls than the male. I had never done any night photography like this and had no clue what I had until I got home. I learned a lot. Put this activity on your list of "things to do" on your next visit to Central Florida.
To see some Sandhill Cranes and their little colts(babies) follow this link: http://www.photowizpro.com/sandhill/

Equipment

Nikon D300, Nikkor 10.5mm, Nikon Speedlight SB800, stitched with PTGui Pro v8.3.6, Photoshop CS4, Pano2QTVR Pro Flash v1.6.6
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