A Sandhill Crane And Its Nearly Full-sized Colt

/, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Sandhill Cranes, Utah/A Sandhill Crane And Its Nearly Full-sized Colt

Sandhill Cranes at Farmington BaySandhill Crane And Its Nearly Full-sized Colt – Nikon D810, f10, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Sandhill Crane colts at Farmington Bay are as tall as their parents and look just like them except for the markings on their head and the color of their bills and eyes. In this photo the colt is on the left and the adult is on the right and shows that adult’s bill is darker, its eyes are orange and it has a fully developed red crown.  The colts grow very quickly after they hatch when they weigh about 114 grams and by late summer weigh about 4850 grams. The brownish tones of the colt’s plumage will fade this coming winter.

I love Sandhill Cranes, watching them dance, raise their young and hearing their calls which definitely touch something deep inside of me. I’m going to hate to see them leave for the winter but I know they will return next spring.

Life is good.



  1. Marilyn Kircus August 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    You could always come visit them in Texas during the winter. They are not as interesting, though since they are not usually calling or dancing or raising babies. But if you go to Rockport, you can see them with Whooping Cranes near Big Tree, where a rancher feeds them corn. The whoopers shouldn’t be eating corn, but they have had a few bad years without the wolf berries or blue crabs due to drought and not enough water coming down the Colorado River.

  2. Elephant's Child August 9, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you and Linda for educating my ignorance. I also didn’t know the young were colts – and love the reason.

  3. Utahbooklover August 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for an interesting post and image (didn’t know the youngsters are called colts).

  4. Linda Sue Barnes August 9, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I’ll show my ignorance here. Why are the young called colts?

    • Mia McPherson August 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Linda Sue, Sandhill Crane young are called colts because of their long, strong and well developed legs. Just a day after hatching they are already running!

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