Our neighbor called 4 or 5 days before telling us that the Sandhill Cranes here in the community were sitting on a nest. Then Sunday afternoon (3/14/10) she called again to tell us that they were walking with the babies (born that morning). So these little Sandhill Crane “colts” are only a day old.
“Sandhill breeding habitat is marshes and bogs in central and northern Canada, Alaska, part of the midwestern and southeastern United States, Siberia and Cuba. They nest in marsh vegetation or on the ground close to water. The female lays two eggs on a mound of vegetation, but it is rare that both chicks hatch and grow to independence. Cranes mate for life; both parents feed the young, called “colts“, who are soon able to feed themselves. The colts are taught to fly over many weeks when they run and dance with their parents. Dancing is a significant component in the education of young cranes. The Sandhill Crane does not breed until it is two to seven years old, and the average generation time is 12.5 years. It can live up to 25 years in the wild; in captivity it has been known to live more than twice that span. Mated pairs stay together year-round and migrate south as a group with their offspring.” (Wikipedia) This pair is here year-round. Been in our backyard many times.
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalms 50:11 ESV)
Thought you might enjoy seeing them. Dan walked over and took these photos.