Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pale Male Watches the Eyasses and Finally, a Sandhill Crane Nest!

Photo courtesy of

Pale Male always takes time to watch his eyasses with focus and interest.  Though they will still be sleeping in a pile they will be getting more upright while being fed now.

I've always wondered how so large a nest and so large a bird as a Sandhill Crane could be first, hidden, and second, protected, while sitting on the nest.

The vagaries of how a camera creates an image of this particular bird and this particular kind of nest does not truly portray  the amount of camouflage that is present in the real life situation.  For whatever reason they blend far better to the naked eye than they appear to do here.

Also the female is utterly still though somehow manages to move her head to look at you when you have moved, without you seeing it happen in particular.  Kind of amazing actually.

And why are these Cranes called Sandhill Cranes?  Because that it where they position their nests, on a hill of sand and then go about bucking it up with grasses and reeds.  In this case and  others, the perimeter of the nest is protected by a moat of water.  A moat which some predators would have to swim. It is conceivable that Mom might just drown some of them on the way over as Swans have been known to do with swimming mammals.

Dad is also around to help in discouraging predators.  And a Dad with wings wide used as a weapon and feet kicking is no small thing to overcome.  I'd turn back.

I haven't been able to find a special name for a female or male crane but the young cranes have one.  They are called colts.

And what is a group of Sandhills called?  There is a selection on this one.  They are called either a Herd of Sandhill Cranes or a Siege of Sandhill Cranes.

Both rather nice, I think.  

Now we just have to come up with sex identifying handles for a male and female Sandhill Crane.

Any ideas?

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

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