Sandhill Cranes with Chick

One of the highlights of our trip to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was spotting these Sandhill Cranes with a chick. Sadly, I’ll have to admit that even though I was the one that spotted the cranes, I didn’t see the chick until Leslie told me to stop as we were about to move on. She insisted that she saw a chick, even though I never saw it. When you look at this photo, I think I could be forgiven for not spotting the chick without binoculars — it’s on the left side of the screen in the tall, brown grass.

When I got back to camp that evening and looked at the computer screen, I found that the chick was somewhere in all but one of the shots. I sharpened the little guy in this shot to make it more obvious that mom/dad was keeping an eye on it the whole time.

Surprisingly when I looked back at shots I had taken earlier in the morning of another pair of cranes, there was a chick following the one on the left.

Although we’ve seen Sandhill Cranes several times in the past few years, we’ve never seen a chick before.

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