Crane perfection

Martin Gregus's Image

This sandhill crane was totally absorbed preening and cleaning its feathers - so busy that Martin was able to spend more than an hour lying on the ground nearby photographing it.

Martin was at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Vancouver, Canada, where there are a few pairs of resident sandhill cranes. When they groom, the cranes sometimes emerge from the marsh onto the paths. Knowing this, Martin had spent the afternoon waiting for such a chance. 'I like the way that the very low angle makes the bird appear grandiose, and his colour and structure contrast with the blue sky,' says Martin.

Behind the lens

Martin Gregus

Martin Gregus


Martin is an international award-winning photographer and documentary filmmaker who captures wildlife, beauty and people's stories. He and his father travel the world to document the ordinary through unique stories and techniques. Since 2014 he has worked as a guide, drone pilot, photographer and cinematographer throughout North and South America, Europe, Antartica and the South Pacific.

Image details

  • Nikon D70
  • 18-35mm f3.5-4.5 lens at 35mm
  • 1/1600 sec at f4.5
  • George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Delta, Canada
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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