Sandhill Cranes of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

What an inspiration for this very new-in-the-field photographer. Thank you Steve!

Stephen L Tabone Nature Photography


While in Florida in December and early January, I visited Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, a 22,000 acre preserve located on the edge of Gainesville, Florida. Paynes Prairie is very unique with over 20 distinct biological communities that host a significant variety of wildlife, including bison, horses, alligators, and more than 270 species of birds. The Prairie also has a rich history dating back over 12,000 years when its fertile resources were used by Paleo people, Native American Indians, Spanish adventurers and settlers, and eventually farmers and cattle ranchers. When on the Prairie, I can imagine what much of  Florida looked like many years ago.


Although the canal in the below photo is manmade (circa 1930s), the flora and fauna are representative of what is readily seen when on the La Chua Trail on the northeast side of the Prairie.


Sandhill Crane Range Map

This time of year, one of the attractions for me…

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