Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sandhills, revisited.

Searching my photo storage yesterday, looking for a specific coot photo for Laurie, (we found it) I discovered a series of sandhill cranes from last July 22.

Better late than never, they say. So here they are:

We saw them first, far across a lagoon in the bushes at Reifel Island. They noticed us, too, and waded over, probably because they saw me feeding the mallards.  We weren't expecting them, and had walked on down the path, but they hurried after us, and demanded goodies.

There were a pair of adults, and one youngster. The parents kept the colt, as sandhill chicks are called, protected between them the whole time. They didn't seem to mind us coming close, as long as we moved slowly and kept on dumping bird seed for them.

The young sandhill was as tall as the adults, but didn't have the red head or grey neck. And the neck was visibly thinner; its got a ways to go before it can kill its own food. The parents would feed it until it was able to fly, at about two or three months old. It will live with them for the first year.

This year, 2010, a sandhill pair at Reifel hatched two chicks the beginning of June. I don't know if this is the same family. However, the colt still has the juvenal downy crown.

Neck and head of young sandhill, still shedding down.

Adult head, grey feathers and red bald patch.


  1. It must be the weekend for looking through previously taken photos. I did the same and posted some photos from ages ago. Love the photos of the cranes ... beautiful birds.

  2. Wow. Those are amazing photos of amazing creatures. We get to see them in the winter but from sooooo far away. Thanks for sharing--what a treat.

  3. I can't believe you got that close. Up here they are up and gone at first, distant sight of you! I'd have been sovexcitef to get a shot like that, I'd have broadcasted it straight off!!!!

  4. Ooooh, I am off to look for some of my crane photos now - I need a macro Monday shot! Thanks for the idea.

  5. I have never seen a sandhill crane in person, so I am fascinated with these shots. I enlarged them for detail and ... wow.

  6. I would love to be able to get that close to a Sandhill Crane. I would have fired off 300 shots of those cuties! Nice going Susannah! I,love the shot of the family with the chick in the middle.

  7. Thanks, all!

    Eileen; I would have posted them back in July, but that was the week I went to Bella Coola. And by the time I got back, there was so much going on that it got put off, and then forgotten.


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