23 June 2010

Sandhill Cranes at Riverbend

Riverbend Park has ten miles of trails and 5 miles of kayak/canoe trails available. It's by far one my favorite places in Palm Beach County. This summer the Okeeheelee Nature Center's summer camp is going to visit Riverbend and run an adventure race. Mo and I decided to scope the place out and plan our obstacle course. There will be everything from solving puzzles to flying kites involved in the all day adventure. While mapping out our routes we also ran into some really nice natural encounters including this little family of Sandhill Cranes.

Sandhill Cranes breed throughout the state of Florida. Some birds are migratory but there is a stable population of year-around birds here in the state. Sandhill Cranes can live very long lives, up to 20 years and they don't reproduce until they are at least 2 years old.

Sandhill Cranes either have one or two offspring called colts. This pair had two healthy colts. I've heard of people in Florida referring to two offspring as twins. Most of the time only one young will survive but good parents can successfully raise both colts if given the resources.

If you're ever in the north part of Palm Beach County you should bike the trails of Riverbend. You never know what you may run across. I've seen everything from Wood Ducks to Wild Turkeys to groups of White-tail Deer there. My favorite of course are the woodpeckers and on this trip we had Red-bellied, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers. So no matter if you're looking for a day on the scenic Loxahatchee River that runs through the park or if you plan to hike a portion of the Florida Trail, I am sure your time at Riverbend will be more than rewarding.


The Florida Blogger said...

I've been seeing many Sandhill Cranes around Central Florida. I thought they were migratory birds and were supposed to have flown north by now??

Eva said...

There are migratory Sandhill Cranes in Florida in the winter but we have a very stable resident population. I know quite a few places in Palm Beach County that have breeding Sandhills. Central Florida is certainly a hotspot for them.