Sandhill Crane Nest Camera
We are back for season 2 of our Crane Nest Camera!
Greater Sandhill cranes will return to the same general area every year to nest and typically build a nest in the same or similar spot. Nests are simple, mound-like platforms made of marsh plants, grasses and weeds piled on the ground in marshes or wet meadows. Sandhill Cranes in Colorado usually lay two eggs in late April or early May and incubate these eggs for about 30 days. Both crane parents will help in incubating the eggs and caring for the young once they hatch. When the eggs hatch, Sandhill Crane chicks are able to see, are covered in down feathers, and are able to walk within a few hours. After about a day, the chicks will leave the nest with their parents.
Learn more about Sandhill Crane nesting by checking out our Nesting FAQs! Watch our 2021 webinar: Everything You Want to Know About Greater Sandhill Crane Nesting.
Watch the Nest Camera Highlights to see all the excitement in short video clips!
The Crane Nest
This year we are focusing the Nest Camera on Fred and Wilma, a crane pair that nested in the area but were unsuccessful in 2021. We moved the Nest Camera closer to this pair to watch their journey.
Fred and Wilma laid their first egg on April 15 and second egg on April 17, 2022. We expect the first chick to hatch about May 15, 2022.
On Sunday, May 8, 2022, Wilma and Fred unfortunately lost one of the eggs in the nest. Fred carried off the broken eggshell that afternoon. There is still one egg left in the nest that is expected to hatch May 15-17, 2022.
**Update** On May 17th, Wilma and Fred’s egg hatched. The chick, Pebbles, is growing fast. We will follow the family as long as they stay nearby the nest and the camera. Check out the highlight videos of the chick!
In 2021, we watched Rocky and Athena nesting. In 2021, Rocky and Athena laid 2 eggs (on April 15 and 18), but only 1 egg hatched on May 18. They raised this chick to fledging. In 2022, Rocky and Athena returned to their nesting area but nested just beyond the range of the Nest Camera. The area is rich with crane nesting habitat and watching another pair this year provides a great comparison of crane nesting behavior for different pairs.
Warning: This is a wild sandhill crane nest and anything can happen. While we hope the nest is successful and both eggs hatch, many things can happen to prevent this, including the eggs being infertile, predation of the eggs, chicks or adults, and natural disasters.
Disclaimer: We are livestreaming a wild bird nest and may experience technical problems. We cannot control problems related to mother nature, disrupted signals, etc. If you can’t play the video, try refreshing the webpage. Visit our Nest Camera Highlights page to see the best moments from this nest.
This live video feed is made possible through grants provided by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and the WHILD fund. Internet access for live streaming is provided by Zirkel Wireless. Camera installation and setup were completed by Photon Syndicate. Discounted equipment was provided by Colorado Electric Supply. The live feed is made possible by generous individual donors who helped upgrade the equipment for 2022.