January 21, 2017
With the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival upon us, I’ve run into a bit if a snag. My PC has suffered a catastrophic drive failure. This will put a crimp in my blogging plans (and my budget), but I hope to at least get some basic posts out there until I come up with a new work flow or machine (my PC is 7 years old and was getting stretched a bit as it is).
At least all my photos were backed up!
I’ve been avoiding this for a few weeks now, but you can probably tell from the lack of Sandhill Crane updates that all is not well with the crane family. The surviving chick seems to have perished as well, a few weeks ago. The parents have been near the front retention pond intermittently since then, but I have not seen them on the premises since early last week. It’s a sad fact of life for birds like these cranes. Like a lot of other wildlife (and feral animals as well), they face tremendous natural and man-made obstacles for survival. I remain hopeful that next year they will be able raise at least one chick to adulthood.
My wife and I were distressed to discover one of the crane babies seems to be missing and presumed dead. Now that the chicks are getting so big, the family unit has been foraging farther away and crossing the very busy main road to find food. For some reason, they have never tried to walk further onto the property here at work behind the buildings (away from the road). We’ve been worried one might get hit by less than attentive or (unfortunately) evil drivers. For the past several days now, only one chick has been seen with the parents. It’s possible the other chick met a more “natural” end: disease, gator, choking. Whatever the case, I hope the remaining chick stays safe and the parents stay healthy enough for another brood next year.