Cranes' 21st year!! see Nestwatch 2016 videos.

   For last summer (2015), see Nestwatch 2015 videos.

    1- Home Again           2 - Incubation            

   3 - Foraging               4 - Dodging Dangers

                5 - Chasing a fox        6 - Run, Flap & Catch air NEW            


  Welcome to the Christy Yuncker Photo Journal.

Each spring since 1996, a pair of sandhill cranes has reclaimed their nesting territory on our cranberry bog near Fairbanks, Alaska. I have recorded their daily activities in photographs and videos through every summer day until they migrate south in September.

For an introduction to the world of Millie, Roy and their colts, we suggest:

Early Life of Pi - an intimate photo/video diary of summer 2013

Crane Histories - 21 years of returning to the territory
colts 99-2015

  Why this website?

Millie and Roy are wild sandhill cranes. Our relationship remains at a distance (100-1500 feet of separation) as we watch and tolerate each other.

We have come to know their patterns: excited dancing on the icy pond after arrival each spring, nesting, coaching each year's colts to forage, to dance, to fly, to dodge dangers, and to socially interact, and as fall departure nears, family excursions to neighboring marshess.

Likewise Millie and Roy know our habits. They take little notice of every-day barking at sleddog dinner-time yet cue off alarm yelps when a predator is in the neighborhood. The noisy truck that brings a weekly water delivery is ignored whereas the fuel-oil truck that comes once a summer triggers caution. They are accustomed to my opening the deck door to poke the long lens thru the screen curtain...except during mating.

My notes and images provide a continuous record of successive nesting seasons of this pair of cranes. A report on a single bout of behavior might be considered anecdotal, but a multi-year chronicle, based on over 12,000 hours of close observation, can be viewed as a longitudinal study of nesting and nuturing. It is told from a personal point of view, yet the camera keeps it true.

Visitors to this website may have insights from their own perspectives. Please email your comments or questions or reports of other cranes raising their colts.

     Christy Yuncker Happ

                    All our photo galleries and blogposts are listed on the Sitemap.

Photo Galleries
Nestwatch 2016
   • 1 - Millie & Roy - 21st year
Nestwatch 2015.2 NEW
   • 6 - Run, Flap & Catch Air
Nestwatch 2015.1
   • 1 - Reclaiming the Homestead
   • 2 - Incubation Month
   • 3 - Fitness and Foraging
   • 4 - Dodging dangers
   • 5 - Chasing the fox
Crane biology
Hawks, owls, and eagles
Other birds
   • Birds in motion
   • Ducks, geese, grebes
   • Shorebirds
   • Perching birds
   • Moose
   • Caribou and reindeer
   • Carnivores
   • Muskoxen and sheep
Related links

guide Sandhill Crane Display Dictionary
Order from Amazon

Collaborating artist

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© 2015 Christy Yuncker Happ

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