It is impossible to be quiet when moving through the marsh. With every step you’re brushing again dried grasses or cattails and splodging (Thanks Sheba!) through knee-deep water.
Hey, that’s probably why cranes are smart and build their nests in marsh areas! They can hear potential predators approaching…
Yesterday Joe and I tried to sneak out to install a trailcam on nest BP01N. We could see the adult on the nest and as we approached she flushed.
We can only do this early in the morning but not on really cool days. Eggs exposed to cool conditions won’t be viable for long. Alternatively, if it’s too warm, exposed eggs could cook so we must check conditions and make the call.
Once the call is made, we move in, line up the trailcam/mounting post, which has been camouflaged with grasses… Push that into the ground so that it faces north (less sunlight/glare), take a photo of the setup then retreat as quickly as possible. Yesterday’s time was 3 minutes – a new record!
Here’s a photo showing the camera/nest with 2 eggs on it.
This Sandhill returned after only 13 minutes – Whew!
And here’s a photo from the Trail Camera which was placed on nest JD02N. Thanks to these images captured every 5 minutes we can tell you their first chick hatched in the late afternoon hours of May 6th and their second chick hatched on May 8th.
We’ve not yet captured either of these wiley chicks but we do know the field they’re in with Mom and Dad and are monitoring in hopes of radio tagging them soon.
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