Everyone knows that I LOVE BEARS of all types. Most people know that I ADORE OWLS of all types. Not sure if everyone knows how much MY HEART MELTS FOR CRANES … but it does, especially sandhill cranes and their young. 🙂 So when I learned about a loving pair of SHCs that were raising a newborn, I knew what I had to do … that was to jump in my car and drive up to my next photography shoot, starring this young colt. I was so excited and left so quickly that I forgot my ID, my wallet, and had no money, debit, or credit card on me. Not even a red cent was in my car. No biggie, right? Just turn around and pick it up, right? Well, I was already about an hour or so north when I realized it and it was about 4:30 AM! Would I even have enough gas to get me home? Quick thinking, I called and prayed that Tom would answer the phone. Yes! Poor Tom was sleeping and probably in mid-dream when I abruptly woke him up and off to the rescue he went, as we coordinated our progress and met at the precise location where we would both intersect on the road. So, big time THANKS to Tom … not only my sherpa (though on this day, he was relieved of duty), but also my courier. He’s absolutely the BEST!
Now, back to these cranes…. when I arrived fashionably late, to meet up with Jess and Michael, there it was … the Birthday Boy … 1 Week Old! The lone offspring to this beautiful pair. It was resting on the grass as mom and day were foraging.
As they would make their way to better “bug locations”, so too went the little colt, which Jess nicknamed Uno.As wonderful as it was to see the little one exploring its new home, it was also fascinating to hear the parents calling out in a duet of unison calls. I become desperate to “imprint” their song into my memory bank.Of course, all of this louding calling out was puzzling little Uno and I don’t think he knew what to make of it. (Note: I have no idea if Uno is a male or female, but I will call it a “he” for now).Bugs … It’s What’s For Dinner. 🙂 The pair took turns finding some tasty morsels to share with Uno. It wasn’t an easy feat to feed him either as he would repeatedly refuse or drop it. The parents would have to mash it up a bit more and offer it to him numerous times before it finally ate it.We tried to get down low as we photographed this little cutie. It was quite alert to its surroundings and stayed pretty close to mom and dad.It was a virtual smorgasbord of bugs too, which we could quickly see Uno had a few favorites.All of this feeding and catching up made poor Uno tired … sometimes a nap ensued, while other times Uno just gave in to a good stretch of its still developing wings.It’s so amazing the body size to foot size ratio of these guys. Often those big feet would get tangled up in the grasses and brush and over Uno would go. LOLThank goodness I brought along 2 camera bodies because sometimes they got really close to us. They really didn’t seem to mind us, as we sat still for the most part, though sometimes we got up, giving them their freedom to roam wherever they pleased.Is this just not the cutest face ever?As if that sweet face wasn’t enough, sometimes Uno would wander into the pretty wildflowers in the area and really offer a great shot.Now where in the world is this guy going? When they get up their energy and run, I can’t contain myself and begin to laugh, making shooting a bit difficult.Oh, it’s that big, juicy worm, which mom or dad dropped in front of Uno.As you can see, those worms were definitely a hit!Yes, I’ve mentioned before that I’m a self-proclaimed “CRANIAC”. How could anyone not love them? I mean, they were even blessed with that red heart, so identifiable, on the top of their heads. 🙂Being the only child, I would expect that Uno would grow up quickly. I sure hope that Uno grows up to be a big beautiful crane … and I can only hope to be reunited one day with him, perhaps photographing its own offspring.Well, got to go …. thanks for the memories Uno!
Next Up: More photography and stories in the area between Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP.
© 2016 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography