Last weekend I stopped by a local park to photograph the Sandhill Crane colts that were born at the park a few weeks ago. Some friends had mentioned that there were great photo opportunities with this family, who are so friendly that the colts practically walk right up to you. My friends weren’t kidding! I found the birds down by the lake and they quickly moved up to the parking lot and then out into an open grassy field. Perfect! :)
The colts are starting to move beyond the cute, just-hatched look. Their legs are growing, and they try to feed themselves. But they will gladly accept any tidbit that Mom or Dad hands them. And it’s important to eat your spider quickly, or your brother might try to steal it!
I was intrigued watching the behavior of the birds in the parking lot. They were clearly used to people, and clearly used to cars, and yet Mom and Dad would start to squawk like crazy every time they passed a black car. They threw back their heads and fussed and fussed, while the babies stood patiently waiting by their feet. They did this first by a black truck, then later by a black car. Then they started pecking at the car, as if fighting with their reflections in it. I’ve never seen this behavior before with the cranes. The car owner came out and wasn’t too happy. :-p
These cute little guys grow up far too quickly!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Sandhill Crane Nest?
Check out my Sandhill Crane Nest page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!