While observing three-day-old Sandhill Crane colts (the same ones from my last blog post), I observed a little sequence that was so cute and funny that I just had to share it. The adult Sandhill Cranes had guided their young offspring down to a little pond. The intent was to take the colts wading and to look for food in the water. But there was one big problem for the tiny colts – the wooden beam put on the bank of the pond to keep the sand from eroding. That piece of wood was huge to the baby cranes! So with Mom and Dad already wading in the cool water below, the colts had to figure out how to climb the beam and jump down to their parents on the other side.
I guess it is hard to climb over something that is up to your shoulders. It didn’t seem to occur to the babies to go around the beam. With Mom and Dad watching from the other side, they had to figure out a way to go over it. “But Mom, your legs are so much bigger than ours!”
The older colt took the lead . He tried several times to stretch his tiny foot up onto the wood. Alas, his first attempt didn’t quite work, and sent him sprawling to the ground! His little brother stared dubiously at the wooden beam while the older colt picked himself up.
Well, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! He threw himself up onto the wood, using his wee stubs (some day to be wings) to help him balance.
Now the smaller colt had a challenge. His big brother figured it out, but the little guy wasn’t sure how to do it. As the older colt took a victory stroll, his younger brother seemed to be asking, “How’d you do that!?”
Well, the little guy wasn’t going to be outdone by his big brother. He mustered up the stretch to pull himself up, too. Wing-stubs flailing, he got up on his first try!
Mom seemed to look up and smile on her two little colts. They did it!
Then the colts jumped about a foot down onto the beach. I couldn’t believe how it had taken them minutes to climb up a couple of inches, yet they immediately took that leap of faith down to the sand to Mom and Dad. Geronimo!!
Mom and Dad rewarded their little colts with a nice fish and little bugs that they pulled out of the mud. Then the colts went wading in the shallow water.
I so enjoyed watching this little family! Birds never cease to amaze me. :)
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!
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