Place Your Bets

About a week and a half ago Brooke and I were driving around in the rain, looking for Sandhill Cranes to tag.

We have not exactly been tripping over chicks, so we were ecstatic to find 5 chicks in a mile stretch of road. The bad news was the AG fields they were foraging in are a good distance from the road and back straight up to a few miles of marsh.

Photo: C. Chase

We got permission to get on property that has four of these chicks. Joe, Brooke and I were out every morning last week to make an attempt to nab a chick.

Tuesday we tagged the twins. It went really well. They were the most accessable, being at the West end of the 1st field which is on a corner.

Every other day either they were not around or they were so close to the marsh we knew it would be an exercise in futility.

Friday morning we decided give it a go. I dropped Brooke and Joe off and they slowly snuck behind the treeline, following my whispered directions through the walkie talkies. I told them the birds were in the shade of the stand of Oaks. Now, there are Oaks scattered all along that line, but a thick clump in one spot. My perspective up on the hill is way different than the guys belly crawling under the trees, so I was nervous my instructions were not going to get them to the right spot.

One of the adult Sandhills warily keeping an eye on everyone. Photo: C. Chase

To my amazement and relief, eventually I saw Brooke coming out of the trees in the perfect spot! So did the birds and they started heading to my left, Brookes right. Perfect! Towards Joe! The chick headed into the tall grass the exact moment Joe became visable. That chick disappeared and Joe stepped out at almost the same second, so close I was afraid Joe was going to step on it.

That could not have gone better! Except for one thing. We could not find the chick. We looked, we circled outwardly from the last place I saw it. No chick. Finally we gave up.

Mother Nature gave these little chicks amazing instinct and coloring. You can be a foot away and not see their frozen fluffy little tushes!

We’ll be out to try again today. I’m not sure who you should bet on!

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3 Comments

  1. Jeannie Ulrich aka jogulrich July 3, 2018 10:39 am

    LOLOL! I’m not sure who to bet on, but I will bet you’ll keep trying til you get them! Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Barbara July 3, 2018 8:40 am

    I understand why you’re tagging Sandhills, but “Yeah” for survival. Even at this young age, this youngster knows instinctively how to survive.

  3. Richard P. Chase July 3, 2018 8:18 am

    I read on Facebook that cranes love Jelly Belly candy!! 😉