Sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis) chicks are hatching and can occasionally be seen following their parents amid marsh vegetation. It is always exciting to see these little cinnamon-colored youngsters.
Sandhill crane chicks can leave the nest in about eight hours after hatching and can also swim shortly after emerging from the pale olive to buff eggs with irregular brown or grey markings. Both parents feed their young at first and gradually the chicks learn to feed themselves. The first flight for sandhill cranes occurs at about 65 to 75 days of age. The young stay with their parents for 9 to 10 months and accompany the adults through the first winter migration.
These two sandhill crane chicks and their parent were photographed along Modoc County Road 91 not far from the border with Lassen County CA. The second parent was nearby, but too far away for a family portrait.