Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Baby Sand Hill Crane!

When Dyeyo called to say that he’d seen a baby sand hill crane hatch at the Circle B Bar Reserve, I was very jealous.  Then a few weeks later he reported seeing the new family at the same place several times in a row.  So I had to go and see if I could get some of my own pictures.  Lucky for me, they were there, and I got to see the baby up close.  The birds were right up on the path, less than a few feet away from me.  I could have reached out to touch the baby (of course I didn’t.)

Here you can see the adult feeding the baby (look carefully and you’ll see the bug in the adult’s mouth).  The baby was dancing around, fluttering its little wings, begging for the food.

Mom and Baby Sand Hill Crane

Mom and Baby Sand Hill Crane

Here’s a close-up of the baby.  He was so cute!  I love how the purple wildflowers around him contrast with his pale yellow colors.

Baby sand hill crane

Baby sand hill crane

From this next picture, it looks like the adult was being extremely protective of the young bird.  In reality, though, I think he was just stretching his wings!

Sand hill crane

Sand hill crane

There weren’t many other birds at the reserve today.  I guess the migration period is coming to an end.

As we turned from the parking lot path to Heron Hideout, we saw these osprey making their nest.  At first we just saw the one bird in the nest, and I commented to Dyeyo that it’d be fun if the mate came back with nesting material, and the next thing I knew, there was the other bird!

Osprey nest

Osprey nest

At the corner of Marsh Rabbit Run and Wading Bird Way, this tricolored heron sat patiently fishing for his breakfast.   He’d sit ever so still, watching, and then pluck his beak down into the water and come up with a nice tasty little fish.  Dyeyo says that he’s seen the bird there several times before.  I guess it’s his own personal fishing hole.

Tricolored heron

Tricolored heron

You can’t go to Circle B without seeing at least one great blue heron.  So here is today’s flying bird of the day:

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

We were surprised not to see any warblers, or blue-gray gnatcatchers, or common yellowthroats.  I guess they’ve already started to migrate back north.  Marsh Rabbit Run was very quiet without them.

The tree swallows are roosting in the trees around Wading Bird Way.  They really do land!  (Previously we’d only ever seen them flying around; today there were lots of them perched in trees.  I didn’t get any really good pictures, though.)