These three sandhill cranes are making their way from their night time stay in the waters of the Bosque del Apache, to the morning feeding grounds of the fields to the north. I think they make a striking image against the strong golden hues of the morning sunrise.
Standing or floating in the cold waters of the Bosque ponds at night gives them protection from the local predators that are looking to make of them a meal. The coyotes, bobcats or mountain lions won’t venture into the water at night or at other times. For the birds of the Bosque, night time on land is almost certain death.
However, the ponds have a different problem for all but the ducks – there is no food to sustain them, so at first light, there is a mass exodus from the ponds to the fields, where ample sustenance is available. While the predators might also be in and around the fields, the birds can quickly take flight to protect themselves.
While birds act in only one way, we can take lessons from these birds since not all humans act like these birds.
Most people know that we must seek protection for ourselves and our families, this may be in our homes, our families or with our faith. At dawn, we do what’s necessary to feed ourselves and our families, going to work, expending our energy, and not being afraid to face the predators of life – knowing we have the strength to withstand any challenge in the light of day.
Others are like the birds that sit in the protection of the pond all day and all night. They expect the food to be brought to them, without making any effort on their own. The bird that chooses this route will starve to death in a few days. The person that chooses this path is more dead than he knows – better for him to stay in the fields all day and have the predators devour him at night.
These sandhill cranes fly off for their meal every day. May we be like these birds.