I came across a family of two Sandhill Crane parents and two colts enjoying a beautiful day in June, 2015, at the Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine, Illinois, oblivious to picnickers and photographers alike.
Deer Grove Forest Preserve has an East side that is predominantly open, and a West side that is more rugged. I stopped by the East side (see the map at the end of the post) on June 1 for a quick lunch and found the family walking in the open grass.
The two young colts, which is what juvenile Sandhill Cranes are called, were alternately hanging around the legs of the adults and going off to lay in the shade. They were not making any noise, but for reference here’s what a noisy Sandhill Crane sounds like–this sound multiplies into a cacophany for flocks of these birds.
The adults were not very concerned about me, and I kept a good distance out of concern for them.
The colts were enjoying grubs dug out of the ground by their parents, who both took a lot of care of their young.
Occasionally the two colts ran around together in the cutest way!
I will be publishing photographs of Sandhill Cranes in more rugged settings, but it was refreshing to see a family interacting in a more domestic setting.