Nature Blog Network

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Twin colts hatched in 2010

Roy and Millie returned to their Goldstream Valley cranberry bog and its snow-covered frozen pond on April 22 -- Earth Day. The pair soon began exploratory nest building (left) and then started serious incubation as the snow fell lightly on May 4 (photo right).
We have seen cranes on this pond for 15 years. 2010 is the 10th year that we know a pair of cranes has nested here. Photographs confirm that Roy and Millie have been the individuals nesting here since 2004. We suspect they have been summer residents here since the late 1990's.

The first crane colt (Lucky) hatched on June 4, 2010 and a second (Chance) on the next day. They spent the first two days near the nest, being fed insects by their parents and otherwise sheltering under Millie's wings.  

By day 3, the colts were trailing after their parents, peeping loudly as the family of four foraged all around the pond (map in a previous blog).  

Better quality images covering the first two weeks of Lucky and Chance can be found at Christy Yuncker Photo Journal.

It is a formidable task to raise two colts to the point of migrating south in September. The full history over the past 15 years is summarized on our web page.  Hyperlinks to photo galleries showing some of these colts are included below.
  • 2002 & 2003 - Colts hatched but did not survive.
  • 2004 - Two colts hatched but only Peter Pan-04 left on migration.
  • 2005 - The nest was flooded and no colts hatched.
  • 2006 - Two colts hatched but one died after two weeks. Barbaro-06 lived to learn to dance (often with a parent), to fledge and to migrate southward. 
  • 2007 - The nest was flooded.
  • 2008 - Oblio-08 hatched, developed well in June. The colt was somehow injured and could not run well in  midsummer.  The parents delayed their migration until Oblio was able to fly in mid-September.
  • 2009 - Jacques-09 and Phyl-09 hatched but Phyl died overnight at three weeks. The parents exhibited a crane version of grieving on the day after Phyl's death. [see also our Blogpost of June 11, 2009). At the end of the summer, Jacques migrated south with his parents.
  • 2010 - Lucky-10 and Chance-10 hatched on June 4 & 5. They gamboled and foraged around the pond for two weeks.  In week 2, they were absent from the pond for most of the day on two occasions; we assume this was a neighborhood walkabout.   Chance did not appear on the morning of June 19.  We do not know the cause of his death.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is amazing and extensive. I had the opportunity to work for Sandhill Cranes in Canada. It was one of the most beautiful and enlightening experiences with wildlife. Thank you for such a great blog!