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. Here are their stories, recorded every summer day for 21 years.
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.
All our photo galleries and blogposts are listed on the Sitemap.
• 2 - First week
• 3 - Incubation
• 4 - Roy's ice dancing
• 5 - Pi hatches
• 6 - Pi dances
• 7 - Dodging Danger
• 8 - Dragonflies
• 9 - Fitness for flight
• 10 - Swim with Dad
• 11 - Dance and fly
• 12 - August flight school
• 13 - Foraging and intruders
• 14 - Pi explores his world
• 15- -Time to migrate