Over the weekend, out on the bike, I again encountered a Sandhill Crane in almost exactly the same spot where we saw one a couple weeks back. This led me to assume that it's the same bird that we saw feeding along the edge of the trail.
Sandy spied a spider
I guess what cinches that assumption is the bird's rather tolerant behavior around humans. Or at least us humans. Twice now, it has continued on it's feeding, seemingly untroubled by our proximity. Mind you, these pictures were taken with an iPhone. One of E's kids, and a couple of cycling friends have also seen this crane - who we've now (cleverly) named Sandy.
Is this bird nesting in these parts, or just stopping by for snacks? Are Sandhill Cranes as tolerant of humans as Canada Geese? Are we witnessing the front end of an avian shift in our local environment? Oh, nature is full of questions. The one answer I can offer up is that Sandhill Cranes (this one, anyway) eats spiders:
Notice the blob of spiderweb schmutz on the beak tip..
Perhaps it's true, and crane sightings are becoming more common locally. I think I will always get chills when I see one either near or far. Cranes have quite a rich and varied mythology, and don't kid yourself: I rode away feeling the meeting was a good omen indeed.
Yeah....also found a turtle! : )