Driving in to work this morning I passed a field full of sandhill cranes. At 50 mph with traffic whizzing by in both directions, it was not the place to stop and fully take in the scene. So, I was thrilled when I got onto a back road closer to work to find a family group of cranes not too far off the road in another field. I whipped out my camera and took some photos, because this was my first baby crane ever!
Juvenile cranes are called "colts." Is it because they have long, gangly legs? That's the only similarity I can come up with.
So, it is the time of the year when the adult cranes take the kids out foraging, showing them the ropes in the fields. They are all a lovely rusty brown, having coated their feathers with the mineral-rich mud found in the pounds and lakes around here. Come late summer and fall they will all be mostly grey, the need for color no longer important. Camouflage or courtship? Maybe a bit of both? No time to look it up right now - swamped with work.