These images of sandhill cranes were taken on or near the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. These graceful birds migrate each year from Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico to the Gray's Lake NWR in eastern Idaho. They spend between 3 and 4 weeks in the San Luis Valley feeding on both waste grain in farmer's fields and grain raised specifically for them on the Monte Vista Refuge. In all nearly 20,000 cranes pass through the Valley between late February and mid March each year.
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