Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis tabida) attacked by Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus nevadensis) 25 June 2011. Blue Lake Road, Modoc County, California Photos © 2011 Joseph Morlan
This pair of Sandhill Cranes inadvertently came close to the nest of a Red-winged Blackbird. The male blackbird actually landed on the back of one of the cranes and rode a short distance.
This is the large race of Sandhill Crane (G. c. tabida) usually called Greater Sandhill Crane. If you look closely, you may be able to spot two small reddish-brown crane chicks hiding in the grass between the two adults.
Digibinned with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Zeiss Victory 8X42 binoculars| hand-held (no adapter)
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis tabida) with chicks.
Eventually the chicks emerged from the grass and swam a short distance in the shallow water. I never knew that cranes could swim, but evidently the chicks can. BNA says less than 0.1% of time is used in swimming, but perhaps that applies only to adults.
Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Nikon FieldScope III | 30XWA | hand-held (no adapter)