Rising from the sandbars on the Platte River with clarion calls, the sandhill crane (Grus Canadensis) feels the urgency of spring migration. Elegant, noble, and spiritual, the sandhill is one of the most ancient of all birds. More than a half-million strong, flying in squadrons, these majestic creatures point northward to their Arctic and sub-Arctic breeding ranges. Theirs is an epic story of endurance through the ages.
On Ancient Wings presents sandhills in their wild, but increasingly compromised, habitats today. With an intimate lens, photographer and author Michael Forsberg documents the tall gray birds from the Alaska tundra to the arid High Plains, and from Cuban nature preserves to suburban backyards. With an eye for beauty, an ear to those for whom cranes matter most, and an uncommon persistence the author shares his discovers during a five-year journey across North America. This personal exploration documents the cranes’ challenges to adapt and survive in a rapidly changing natural world, and argues that humankind, for its own sake, should secure their place in the future.
On Ancient Wings intertwines the lives of cranes, people, and their common places to tell a timeless story at a time when sandhill cranes and their wetland and grassland habitats face daunting prospects.