The cranes that live and nest where I work hatched 2 babies again this year, about a week or so ago. It’s been hard to get emotionally invested in the family after last year’s heartbreaking loss of both chicks (presumably to traffic accidents, though nothing definitive is known). But they are so darn cute, I had to take these photos as the kids were feeding and walking around with their parents. Here’s to hoping they stay safe and grow strong.

Some Odds and Ends

  • This blog has been going for one year now!
  • The Sandhill Cranes are nesting again. I saw momma crane on a nest with 2 eggs. She’s nesting up on the bank of the landscaping pond because the unusually wet weather has kept the pond level above her preferred nesting site.
  • I’m mirroring this blog on WordPress (lonelybirder.wordpress.com) to see how it goes over there. It’s not a simple as Tumblr but more flexible.

Crane Family Sadness

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.

Law of the Concrete Jungle

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.

Crane Family Miracle

A potent thunderstorm moved through our area last night, dumping several inches of rain and with wind gusts over 30mph. I was worried about the Sandhill Cranes where I work and their single chick and unhatched egg. 

This morning, I noticed the pond was filled up and the nest site was inundated with water. I scanned around and saw the two adult cranes foraging in the grass. At first I didn’t see the chick and feared the worst. But then I saw the little one between its parents and thought, “Well, at least the chick made it.” I felt pretty bad about the egg.

When my wife came to pick me up, we saw the crane family was foraging near the parking lot and what did we spy?

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What’s this?

A close inspection found not just one chick, but two! Yes, apparently the other egg must have hatched some time yesterday. My wife was driving so she pulled off so I could get some closer pictures.

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“Say hello to my little sister (or brother)!”

I got some adorable close-ups before Poppa Crane VERY LOUDLY announced his displeasure at us paparazzi invading family time.

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Adorable crane chicks.


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Can you believe it?


Here’s to a great summer for the crane family as they rear 2 beautiful babies!