Monday, May 20, 2013

Mom, dad and the colt. Sandhill Cranes

First, a huge THANKS to my photography friend TJ, for letting me know that our local baby crane had hatched.  There is a very narrow window of photo opportunity when the colt (a baby crane) goes from hanging around inside an egg, to wandering off into the tall grass, rarely to be spotted again.

Sandhill Cranes are common in our area and we are extremely lucky to have one pair that nests every year fairly close to a road.  When they nest out in the middle of a wetland, you can see them but they are too far off for decent photos.
They dig through water, grass and dirt looking for food.  Dad seemed to be finding a feast but I don't care much for his hygiene.
When the colts are born, they waste no time at all leaving the nest.  They can swim almost immediately and can stand, although with a bit of a wobble.  Either mom, dad or both are always right there watching.
Jasper was in the truck, acting fairly disinterested until both parents decided to celebrate the moment with some very loud honking.
You just don't get a more careful escort than this.
The colt wasn't that efficient as a paddler, but he got around.  Not bad for being a few hours old.
Sometimes you just have to find a place to stand and rest for 30 seconds.  I'm sure this wasn't comfortable but it was the halfway point.
I didn't get a good shot of it, but there are quite a few Red Winged Blackbirds nesting in the same area.  They nest on the ground, and occasionally a feeding Crane would get too close.  The Blackbirds would start dive bombing the Crane until it moved on.
We are leaving for Newport soon, so I'm not sure I will get much of a chance to grab more baby colt shots, but who knows?
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