Spent a little time driving around Thousand Trails Orlando hunting for the young sandhill crane and it’s parents this afternoon while Chris was busy working on some case studies for her nutrition course. It’s been hit and miss for me trying to get a good shot of the young crane over the last week or so. If I’m out with my camera, the cranes are nowhere to be found. If I’m out with no camera playing pickleball or walking Teddy, I see cranes everywhere. Go figure! There are probably half a dozen pairs of adult cranes in the park but as far as I can tell only one pair has had any young ones so far. There is a small pond bordered by F, H, I and G sections and a pair of adults have built a nest out in the middle of the pond. So far we’ve only seen one young crane with this pair of adults but from a distance it looks like there may still be an unhatched egg on the nest. The water level is quite low and I have been tempted to wade out towards the nest for a better look but don’t want to stress the cranes by doing so. I don’t think the remaining egg is still viable if it is indeed an egg. One couple in a fifth wheel near the pond told me they had heard this pair of adult cranes initially had four eggs hatch about 4 weeks ago but apparently hawks made off with three of the young ones, leaving only one, which you can see here. Sad I know, but such is Mother Nature.
I went for a little drive in our Vue around the park this afternoon, hunting for cranes and found them less than two minutes from our front door near the edge of the pond where they have built their nest. The two adults were busy foraging for insects and the youngster was getting right into it as well. A very quick learner too. The young crane never strayed too far from it’s parents. I managed to sit on the grass about 20-25 feet away from the family for about twenty minutes and got some good photographs. Two are shown here. I used Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5 to process my raw images with Nik Software’s Viveza 2 and Color Efex Pro 4 plugins. Hope you like today’s photos.