A Running Start

Subject: Sandhill Crane
Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana
Sandhill cranes are always graceful and elegant, except perhaps during their relatively awkward taxi and takeoff, when their long legs and big bodies seem to get in the way of a smooth and effortless start to flight. This crane requires about 20 feet of runway to get up to the full sprint that will provide enough airspeed to support flight, lifting the great bird off of the earth. Once airborne, it will have a better view of the 20,000 or so other sandhills socializing in Goose Pasture below, taking respite along the path of their epic southward migration.
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