Dean M. Chriss
Dawn Parade, Sandhill Cranes, Bosque Del Apache
(Click image to enlarge)
As the first golden light of the day strikes their marsh, four sandhill cranes awake and march single file before taking flight to feed in nearby fields. Thousands of cranes, geese, ducks, and other birds winter in New Mexico's Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Winter daytime temperatures are relatively warm, but they dip into the low 20s at night. Just before dawn is the coldest time of day, and the first rays of the sun are welcome relief for birds and photographers alike.