Return of the Cranes

Saw my first Sandhill cranes of the season, picking through a plowed-under chile field along the river in the South Valley. They’re big birds, the biggest you see ’round here, tall with a six-plus-foot wingspan. Their bodies are a drab grey, which makes their red crest all the more striking. They migrate here for the winter, making a healthy living picking through the bits the farmers leave behind.