We returned to NE Illinois for the second time this spring. Because of a flight cancellation we missed celebrating our daughter's birthday there, but MaryLou did take part in our granddaughter's Confirmation ceremony. Although our stay was brief and I was still fighting bronchitis, I made time to visit a few birding patches near our daughter's home.
While looking for sparrows in the last undeveloped plot in the Village of North Aurora, adjacent to Jones Meadow Park, I encountered a pair of Sandhill Cranes with two very young colts. They foraged among the yellow flowers in the pasture:
Young cranes are called "colts." The dictionary defines "colt" loosely to include, besides male horses and firearms, as "a young or inexperienced person." Although I could not trace the origin of its application to these birds, it is said to reference their long strong legs.
The colts stayed close to their parents as they moved along. Although the chicks are hatched with their eyes open and are active and capable of foraging on their own, their parents feed them or help them find food for the first week or two. Their diet consists mostly of seeds and other plant material, but they do prey upon insects and small vertebrates when encountered.
I witnessed an adult feeding an unidentified morsel to one of the colts:
Colts become competitive as they age, and parents are said to tend them separately to discourage fighting, but these little ones seemed to get along very well:
Working out of my laptop in Illinois, I have fallen behind in processing the photos, so here are a few from Florida during the days between trips.
A Northern Mockingbird persistently attacked a Fish Crow:
The Pine Bank reflected on still waters before sunrise on May 6:
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
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Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi
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