Sunday, March 22, 2009
Wildlife Weekend :: Stalking Sandhill Cranes
I've been stalking this Sandhill Crane family ever since Farmer B told me he saw two parents with two little hatchlings on the side of the road outside of our neighborhood. I love the baby cranes called "colts" who strut along with their parents and look like little dinosaurs. You can see them in the above not-so-good photo that I took when they were in someone's back yard on February 27.
Today I happened to have the camera and saw them in the cow field across from our neighborhood. The little hatchlings have grown so much in the past month.
I will admit to being insanely curious as to where this family sleeps at night. They can't roost in trees because the babies can't fly yet. I would imagine they hunker down under a bush somewhere and cross their feathers that nothing finds them.
Did you know that Sandhill Cranes mate for life? There are only about 5,000 Florida Sandhill Cranes left and they're protected. We see so many of them in our neck of the woods though. They also live to about 25 years of age in the wild and up to twice that in captivity. Those little colts will stay with their parents for the first year of their lives. Then they'll learn to fly and go seek out mates of their own.
And that's my wildlife weekend for March 21st.