i have learned so much about these cranes this year. they started putting their nest together around the first of april and started sitting april 15 or 16th. the two babies were born 30 days later and for the first two weeks, they stayed very close to the nest site. then they began venturing out on to our property a little farther each day. now they leave early in the morning and are basically gone all day although i can scout the surrounding fields and usually catch site of them. they stay within about a mile radius but are off of our property and crossing roads. it has caused me no end of stress but i realize that this is what they do and there is nothing i can do about it other than to wipe my brow every night and say, "whew", when they come back to the nest at night.
the biggest baby or colt is very independent and is often seen many, many yards away from the parents but i know they are keeping an eye on him.
i still have not been able to take any close up shots. the parents are quite tame but the babies run at the slightest idea that i may be comings towards them and so i stay back and let them do their thing.
i just realized that they are now 21 days or 3 weeks old today.
once in a great while, a parent will get up and fly around the lake, presumably stretching its wings. when he/she comes in for a landing, the larger colt will start watching and running towards the parent as it comes in for a landing.
i read that they stay in or near the nest site for the first two weeks but they still come back every night. they must know how much i would worry! LOL
the Cranes are still coming back to the nest site each evening but they leave very early in the morning and stay away all day and they are going to places where i can't keep track of them anymore, so it is more stressful than ever! lol
something happened yesterday that i have never seen before although i was told that it happens.
i was outside early last evening and glanced out to the lake to see if they had come back yet...and there they were, swimming across the cove towards the nest site. male in front, female behind, babies in the middle. they looked like big gray swans! i was so astounded that i didn't run for the camera but just stood and watched until they made it safely over to the other side. i guess they didn't feel like walking the entire length of the cove to get home.
i've enclosed a picture of the cove, minus birds, to give you all an idea of the layout. pictured is the cove entrance, the far side and the closest point (where the nest is). i hope that isn't confusing. also a picture of the babies taken a couple of days ago.
i don't know exactly how they accomplish swimming because they don't have webbed feet and i don't think they can swim very long either, especially the babies, but apparently they have enough buoyancy to stay afloat and paddle with those long legs.
it was a very cool thing to witness.