Last Friday morning was a great time for birding, and around 11AM we caught up with the family of Sandhill Crane's at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. The 19 day old chick was doing well and walking around the central trail along with it's parents. Considering that this pair of Sandhill Cranes had lost their chicks the two pervious years, this years little one seemed to be doing extremely well. It appeared strong and was eating a lot, which is a good sign.
We observed and photographed the family for nearly an hour, making sure to give them space whenever they needed it. Here we see the parents bringing grubs and dragonflies to the young one (make sure to view the pictures at a larger size).
When we were leaving later in the afternoon the family of Cranes seemed to be happily moving about, and swam across one of the small waterways to a more grassy area.
Over the weekend I learned, on the sanctuaries Sandhill Crane page, that the young one had died Friday afternoon, just hours after we departed. Considering how healthy the chick had appeared to be this was truly sad news. As things stand right now, fatigue, due to being stuck in taller grass and mud, is believed to be one of the possible the cause of death.