Reader Ed Kroc sent in a nice series of photos of the sandhill crane, as well as an explanation:
For your consideration, here are some pictures of the sandhill crane (Grus canadensis). These were taken at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, BC, just south of Vancouver. This is a wonderful place, full of marshes and wetlands right at the mouth of the Fraser River. It’s a reliable oasis for many species of bird as they migrate south to north and back again each year, as well as an ideal location for many resident birds to nest.
Enclosed are a few pictures of an unfairly adorable sandhill crane chick with parents. This little guy was only a day old when I was lucky enough to stop by the sanctuary. The chick had yet to build up a tolerance to life outside the shell, frequently plopping down with little ceremony to nap for a few minutes in the spring sun. Comparing the chick to one of its parents, it’s amazing to consider the morphological transformation these birds go through from nestling to adult.
Look at the feet on that chick!