Over the last several weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of watching our two neighborhood sandhill cranes raise two yellow, long-legged, lively youngsters. The family of four has a semi-regular schedule (noticeably changed from the parent’s pre-children schedule, I’ll add), typically dropping by mid-morning and sometimes late afternoon. Each parent crane usually has one of the younger ones closely in tow, the little ones quick to snatch any six-legged morsel their parent spooks from the ground.

A few days ago, I noticed Mom, Dad, and Baby Crane #1 in my backyard — but Baby Crane #2 was missing! The three cranes were casually pecking about for yummy grubs and lizards along the ground, when Dad’s head shot up with what seemed a clear look of anxiety. I could just imagine the conversation.

“Honey, were is Baby Crane #2?”

“I don’t know — you were supposed to be watching her!”

I could hear the groan of annoyance and fear as Dad quickly spread his wings and flew away, leaving Mom and Baby Crane #1 happily foraging in the yard. A short while later, he came marching back with Baby Crane #2 in tow, who was soaked — no doubt from lollygagging in the lake while the rest of the family had moved on.

Kids are always getting into trouble, after all!

Baby Sandhill Cranes

The sandhill crane babies shortly after hatching. – C. Cameron

The sandhill crane youngsters as teens. – C. Cameron