Last Saturday I decided to try for some bird photos and headed over into the Jefferson River Valley south of Whitehall to see what could be seen. I came across this Sand Hill Crane, peacefully foraging in a field about 50 feet off the road. I stopped for photos and we seemed to get along famously. The crane finding supper; I getting some good photos.
HuntingSand Hill Crane, Franich Lane, Whitehall, Montana. May 16, 2020. I moved about 50 feet down the road. On my right, the meadow became a fallow field. A quick motion to my right alerted me that the crane I had just photographed was flying forward alongside me. When I stopped, even though this was the bird I had just photographed, its presentation was much different. It strutted back and forth parallel to the road dragging its wingtips over the gravelly soil. Sometimes it would run ahead, stand up tall, call (a distinctive sound if you haven't heard it), and then resume its 'threatening' movement. I wondered why all had changed?
Back Off!Sand Hill Crane, Franich Lane, Whitehall, Montana. May 16, 2020. Up the road I saw quick movement in the grass. There was a sand hill crane chick moving around and every time mama(?) would stand and call, it would cross the road and disappear into some tall grass. As soon as she would quit calling to give me the evil eye, the chick would come back out.
I thought, "Kids." I waited until it was again off the road, and went on my way. Crossing the RoadSand Hill Crane chick. Franich Lane, Whitehall, Montana. May 16, 2020. So, why did the Sand Hill chick cross the road? Mama told it to!
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