Thousands of them stop at the nearby wildlife refuge just south of town to enjoy the marshes, ponds, wild grasses, and wide open spaces in the San Luis Valley (75 miles long!). They are a natural wonder to view and admire. And, for me, they make for great photo art subjects.
Here are some of my favorite images which I created in March of this year (2011). I wasn't just photographing birds; I was capturing their natural beauty, especially against such a great Colorado backdrop.
With Blanca Peak (over 14,000') in background.
Looking west from the San Luis Valley
In flight at sunrise, around 6:30 a.m.
If you go to Monte Vista next year during their annual Sandhill Crane Festival, make reservations early! It is definitely worth the drive, or flight. While you're there, take in the highest sand dunes in north America: The Great Sand Dunes, just a few miles northeast of Monte Vista.
Enjoy my photographic interpretations of the Sandhill Cranes.
Eli Vega, Photo Artist