AP PHOTOS: Sandhill cranes make Kentucky rest stop

Sandhill Cranes

CECILIA, Ky. (AP) — Sandhill cranes have been migrating through Kentucky long before anyone settled in the state. The cranes stopped here for a few short weeks on their way to and from their nesting grounds in the Great Lakes region.

Counts made by biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources show about 12,000 of the birds have stopped at the farm ponds and corn fields around the small town of Cecilia recently during their winter northward migration. These birds, which are part of the eastern population of sandhill cranes, are part of a group estimated to be larger than 70,000 birds, many of which were wintering in Florida.

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The winter has been gloomy and wet in Kentucky, but displayed here are images of the birds taken on a sunny day last Friday.

The colorful sunrise, which reflected on the frozen ponds where the birds roosted, made for a beautiful morning. But the biggest surprise came when a bald eagle landed on the bank of one of the ponds where the cranes were still hanging around.


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