The Sandhill Cranes at my sister’s pond have hatched a pair of babies. They are fraternal twins, of course. Sandhill Cranes mate for life, and I wrote about them before. They have only one brood a year, and though they lay up to 3 eggs, usually only 1 baby survives.
My sister has a low water, tall grass pond that is protected as an environmental wildlife sanctuary. No digging is allowed, and our brother’s planting is dependent on whether it is a dry year or a wet year. Some years, the field is flooded, and the pond expands. Other years, there is more tillable land. This particular pair has been coming here to nest for as many years as my sister can remember.
We have been spying on “our” cranes since I arrived in late April. There was a lot of rain then, and they made their nest in a very inconvenient place, in our opinion. We were sure the nest was flooded out, and lamented the loss of the chicks. It would be the second year of no babies.
Today, we saw the two chicks out and about with their parents. If these babies can survive the predators of raccoons, owls, and coyotes, it will be another miracle. Their parents will protect them with their powerful bills that can pierce the skulls of those who threaten. Meanwhile, we will continue to monitor with binoculars, the progress of the twins. Dang. Ain’t nature amazing?