I’m perplexed, my neighbor called me and said the baby crane had arrived and was walking through her property with the parents. I was stunned — had it been 30 days? I remember how they got rid of their young sandhill crane, sending it off at only 3 months, that’s almost 7 months pre-mature. They keep babies, (colts) with them for 10 months before making them leave. Not this time, the parents began building a nest in the marsh in late April and the 3 would sleep there, but suddenly, the baby was outted and the parents left that nest in May. I contacted the neighbors after seeing one parent at a time, and sure enough, they had moved their nest onto protected dry land, but the nest was spartan, hardly any padding at all, usually they are built with a lot of plant material. This time the baby was practically on the hard ground.

I figured I had about 10-15 more days till hatching, but then the call came and I rushed over to see the baby which if a very new one, a day at the most. It’s wobbly body was trying hard to keep up with the parents. I would estimate it was born yesterday and this was it’s first venture out from the looks of it. And it’s always fun to see these little ‘weebles’ – they are so unsteady, and not concerned with humans and cameras. The parents walked around as baby followed. At one point an very angry red winged blackbird was fake attacking the family of cranes, it must have had a nest nearby. Tonight I will go back again and check the nest later. There was no egg remnant at all. So here’s our newest sandhill crane, hope they will show up at my house in a day or two!

I did stop down tonight before it got dark to look at the family dynamic. The mother was sitting on the bare ground,  she is not even using the minimal nest the egg was hatched upon, she is sitting close to waters edge without the benefit of any substrate, most unusual, have not seen them do that before, they have always had a nice nest to go back to at night. Though the nest they built off my property on the marsh is now underwater, Did they know that somehow? Did their instinct anticipate rising water and that’s why they abandoned it? Guess we’ll never know, but it’s fun to speculate. All I know is these are caring parents despite the fact they got rid of their 3 month old baby, in the past every baby has been totally attended to. Here we go again!

Stopped by marina and there were two very new ducks, so adorable too. There were many ducks that were a few months old, they looked mostly mallard. No gators, only a couple people fishing and the clouds were wonderful. The winds have been fairly brisk the past two days, it feels like a little bit of a break from the 90 degree weather. All’s quiet here and that’s ok!