Dean M. Chriss
Parent and Child, Sandhill Cranes, Bosque Del Apache
(Click image to enlarge)
As sandhill cranes mature their plumage darkens and they gain the bright red forehead of their parents. It takes about two years for a sandhill crane to reach maturity, and they migrate with their parents until they begin the search for a mate of their own. In this image a nearly adult crane is flying below one of its parents as the sun rises over New Mexico's Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Because males and females have a virtually identical appearance, it is impossible to determine which parent is shown.