Item Number: 6250LR
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ABOUT THE IMAGE:
As Thomas D. Mangelsen’s dear friend, the legendary American ornithologist Dr. Paul Johnsgard notes, cranes hold a special place in the human psyche. Their calls and courtship dances, their fidelity demonstrated between pairs, their devotion to young, their homing instincts, and the grief they exhibit when losing a mate—all of these expressions of natural behavior have registered with cultures around the globe going back to the dawn of our own species.
Mangelsen has joined Johnsgard and their mutual friend, Dr. Jane Goodall, at his family cabin along the Platte River in Nebraska many a spring to observe the extraordinary migration of over half a million sandhill cranes. It’s an event that is considered one of the true wildlife wonders of the world. Cranes of the Grey Wind
is Mangelsen’s homage, a panoramic photograph that draws our attention.
“What this image can’t convey are the calls of thousands upon thousands of cranes massing,” Mangelsen says. Here is what he wrote of the scene: “Early March snow flurries and dim morning blend the soft greys of sandhill cranes standing in the shallow waters of a submerged sandbar. Soon, mated pairs and family groups will come together, and like smoke rising from a chimney, great kettles of cranes will spiral and rise miles above the river. As they sail on southerly winds, the skeins will disappear against blue April skies—only the sounds of their ancient voices trailing back to earth as they journey to their northern summer homes.”