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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

Cranes and coyotes

Several observers, including me, have been waiting for a pair of neighborhood Sandhill Cranes to hatch an egg or eggs. The pair had two colts two years ago. Last evening the cranes walked out of the marsh where they nest and into an adjacent horse pasture with one tiny hatchling. This morning the cranes were agitated and without their baby. The landowner has seen a coyote in the area several times lately, inclulding one interaction with the cranes. She believes today that the colt (chick) has been taken by the coyote. 

It's the way nature works, but sometimes it seems so unfair.

Below is a photo of a Sandhill Crane and its colts (chicks) taken some years ago in Sherburne County. The colts were very recently out of the eggs. For a size estimate, the adult is about four feet tall.

Neighborhood birds show courtship and nesting behavior

A morning spent touring neighborhood birding spots — Killdeer mating the day before the female offered her broken-wing distraction display, meant to lure me away from her nest. If she had a nest, that was quick. A male Mourning Dove was giving a courtship display, tail fanned, to a potential mate. Cliff Swallows were collecting dabs of mud for construction of their gourd-like nests. European Starlings had fledged this juvenile, its plumage most unlike that of adults.






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