Sandhill crane pair with chicks, Grus canadensis.
So I've been holding onto the wildlife photos! One of my regular blog readers has asked me several times something like "where are the animal pictures from Yellowstone!?" I've been back a week, but the wildlife encounters we had were just amazingly spectacular and quite memorable. I would say it was the experience of a lifetime, but I really hope I get to do this again some day.
During our first hour in the park, after a rather close siting of a black bear, we came across this pair of sandhill cranes. They were nesting at floating island lake, which is along the grand loop road not too far east of Mammoth Hot Springs. Many photographers were stopped along the road to photograph this rather rare site. Wildlife photographer Jaun Pons, who has led many workshops in Yellowstone, traced our path a few days later, writing that he had never seen sandhill crane chicks in the park. I definitely feel fortunate to watch and photograph these magnificent birds and their young.