The Sandhill Crane colts have hatched

The Sandhill Crane colts have hatched

I had an absolutely incredible morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Sunday. The Sandhill Crane colts have hatched! This is a very predictable family of Sandhill Cranes that has been bringing the tiny babies up on the trail for the past four or five years. They make wonderful photo opportunities!

The nest this year is way out in the marsh. I finally found it after I heard the birds calling. I tried to find it again a few minutes later, and couldn’t! The adults take the babies back to the nest at night, and then every morning they start their daily trek across the marsh. I can only imagine how big that marsh must feel to the babies! They are just little pipsqueaks, maybe 12 inches tall, and Mom and Dad drag them through plants and bushes and across the water. The babies are born knowing how to swim, so when the water gets too deep, they swim to follow their parents. They are two little golden dots in the marsh…

I noticed photographers checking out the Heron Hideout trail, not seeing the cranes, and moving on too quickly. You have to be patient to wait for the birds to come to you. It took them about half an hour or more to make their way across the marsh. In the meantime, I noticed this Marsh Wren hopping around in the grass in front of me. I never would have noticed him if I hadn’t been standing quietly in one place for a little while. He posed beautifully for me while I waited for the stars of the day to come up onto the trail.

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