Taking the long way home

 

I was taking the scenic route home from Bok Tower Gardens and circled partially around a small lake in Lake Wales instead of taking the short cut to the main road. You never know what you may find along a lake. I found two sandhill crane families, both with one baby. I parked at the playground and just walked a few steps and caught the above family as they were cruising along the marshy area of the lake. The baby was getting big and was walking around on his own while still staying close to the parents. After a handful (okay, maybe 100 snaps) I jumped back in the car and continued on my way.

I think these are weeds but I love seeing them out in the open field.

And this little guy was hiding in some of the “weeds” on the other side of the lake. At first I just saw the parents and got out of the car anyway to walk around at the main parking area and then saw the baby pop out of the weeds. He was still pretty tiny.

He sat patiently as one of the parents was looking around for bugs. I caught him getting a bug from the parent. When the baby sat down he was much shorter that those daisy weeds and could easily hide in them. These are all extremely cropped so I don’t even think they noticed me.

My Corner of the World

Little Fraiser crane

There was only one. I don’t know if there were more than that but at this point the couple only had one baby. He was getting big and was almost as big as his parents. I found the family at the far end of Heron Hideaway Trail near Eagle’s Roost Trail. They were just hanging out and the baby was taking a break. The reserve had just recently opened back up so this guy probably spent his earliest time without anyone around. Now there was a constant parade of people down the trail but “Fraiser” didn’t seem fazed.

After a few minutes on the side of the trail, the family started heading out.

I started walking down the trail ahead of them and they were following me. They were walking fast so I kept turning around and snapping. I had to move pretty quickly to keep them all in the picture. It was funny to watch them so casually cruising down the trail.

Later I saw another couple across the marsh but I didn’t see any babies with them.

Out in a cow pasture

On my way back from my road trip to central Florida to look for the whooping cranes, I stopped along a quiet rode when I saw the above sandhill crane family far out in a cow pasture. The two babies were already big and could keep up with the parents. These are all extremely cropped pictures.

The cow was looking at me like I was crazy.

Central Florida is full of cow pastures and citrus groves.

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The sandhill crane family

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I headed out to Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-May not expecting much. I thought it would be fun to see some baby moorhens. I was lucky enough to see the sandhill crane family walking down one of the trails. I sat down on the grass and watched them go about their daily lives. The babies were very curious checking everything out. They kept flapping their wings getting ready to take off one day in the future. They eventually continued on down the trail. I have seen pictures of the family recently from other photographers out at the park and the family is doing well. Both babies are almost as tall as their parents. All of the above are extremely cropped.

Two sandhill crane families in one day!

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I can’t believe I saw this family way out in the marsh off Alligator Alley trail.

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Mom was feeding the baby something. The baby couldn’t have been more than a day old. I think there was another egg on the nest. I could see the mom turning the egg. I have since heard the 2nd one was born and the family of four is doing well.

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These are all extremely cropped since they were so far out. It’s amazing how they survive with all of those alligators in the marsh. The parents must do a good job of keeping them away from the nest. As soon as the 2nd baby is born, the family is on the move. Usually heading up on the trails.

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This is the first baby born this spring at the reserve. I was leaving the reserve and saw them across the street wandering in someone’s yard.

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I think he sees me.

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“What are these big things for?” he says, looking at his feet.

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I guess his break was over. Time to get up and look for bugs.

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Still checking out those big feet.

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Looks like mom has a bug.

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Still keeping an eye on his feet. They looked okay and he was walking on them. Maybe he is just curious as they get bigger.

It’s always a good visit at Circle B Bar Reserve when you see 2 sandhill crane families. Even though things are getting quiet at the reserve, there are still lots of babies being born.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention.