Our photo of the day comes from Merced National Wildlife Refuge, California.
Known for their elaborate mating dances, as can be seen in this photo by Rick Derevan, courting cranes stretch, bow, flap, and leap in their efforts to woo the ladies.
What supremely elegant creatures. As Cornell Lab of Ornithology notes, "The elegance of cranes has inspired people in cultures all over the world—including the great scientist, conservationist, and nature writer Aldo Leopold, who wrote of their 'nobility, won in the march of aeons.'"
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