Welcome to the Christy Yuncker Photo Journal.

Since 1997, a pair of sandhill cranes has returned each spring to their nesting territory on our cranberry bog near Fairbanks, Alaska. On every day from April to September, I have recorded their daily activities in a journal, supplemented with photographs and videos.

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

Colt Histories - 15 years of nesting
colts 99-2014

  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 colt to forage, dance, fly, dodge dangers, and socially interact, and as fall departure nears, family excursions to neighboring marshes.

Likewise Millie and Roy know our habits. They take no notice of every-day barking at sleddog dinner-time yet cue off alarm barks when a predator is in the neighborhood. The noisy truck that brings a weekly water delivery is ignored whereas a strange car parked in our driveway 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 over successive nesting seasons of this pair of sandhill cranes. A report on a single bout of behavior might be considered anecdotal, but a multi-year chronicle, based on close observations exceeding Malcom Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule, qualifies this record 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

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Related links

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© 2015 Christy Yuncker Happ

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