Sandhill crane guarding its baby

Mother and juvenile sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis, Gruidae) photographed 09/03/2010 in a hay field near Manitou Beach Michigan.

I have to admit, I only used the word “baby” to get your attention.  While the brown individual shown here is a young sandhill crane (Grus canadensis, Gruidae), it was old enough to fly.

The gray-colored mother stood attentively, watching for predators while the baby foraged for mice and insects.  I never saw the mother put her put her head down to forage.  These were big birds (perhaps 4-5 feet tall) and they apparently don’t back down from a fight.  From what I understand, they will aggressively charge at predators in an effort to deter them, and may hiss and kick with their long legs.

It was my understanding that these individuals were nesting in the area.  Before long they’ll migrate south for the winter.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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