Friday, October 24, 2014

'White' crane at Bosque del Apache "hooks up" with a typical Sandhill Crane

I stopped by Bosque del Apache NWR on my way south. As I drove one of the Refuge roads I saw 2 cranes flying close and saw that one was the unusual 'white' crane that the Refuge has identified as a leucistic Sandhill Crane. There had been concern by crane fans that it would be rejected by the other cranes and it certainly had been by itself when I and others observed it over the past week. As can be seen by the photos below the 'white' crane and it's new friend stayed together after landing and proceeded to feed together for the next 20 min while I birded nearby.
The bottom pic shows the 'white' crane and it's friend still foraging together much later. To left of them is a pair of Lesser Sandhill Cranes (the 'white' crane and it's friend are both Greater Sandhill Cranes and this photo shows the difference between these subspecies nicely) that had been foraging nearby. Don't know if the 'white' crane and the typical Sandhill Crane hanging with it will last but they appeared to be good buddies for about 2 hours until I left the Refuge. SeEtta