Sandhill Crane Family

(Grus canadensis)

by Jim Bailey

I accidentally ran into this Sandhill Crane family on May 20, 2005, while birding below the Jordanelle Dam. The adult cranes were unusually vocal and aggressive toward me until I discovered the reason for their alarm. Once I saw why they were upset, I didn't stick around long, as I didn't want to stress them any more than I already had (besides, those beaks look sharp!). I thought the Killdeer behavior (feigning injury) of the one crane was very interesting. They both made a conscious effort to draw me away from their recent fledgling. Once I was a safe distance away, they both flew back to the chick.

Mama With Baby

Adorable Chick

Angry Parents

Feigning Injury

All photographs by Jim Bailey ŠJIm Bailey