In another part of the neighborhood, a pair has two older chicks, already looking gray, but these are still fluffy and golden brown.
Yesterday (Saturday) was a beautiful day so we had the doors open. My husband and I noticed a crane in the back yard pecking at the empty bird feeder. I knew I needed to fill that thing up! I'd never seen a crane try to eat from it before.
So, I got the package of seed and took it outside. The bird stood a couple of feet from the feeder and watched me as I shook the bag (hoping he'd know what it was) exited the back porch, approached the feeder, and lifted the lid.
He lifted a wing slightly as if ready to defend himself, but he stood there and let me fill the feeder. And before I could back away, he was moving toward it. I watched from the porch as he pecked at the tray and managed to eat. He half emptied the feeder much like the squirrels do, but I think it was clumsiness, rather than a hunt for only the sunflower seeds.
Later that day, to my surprise and delight, the two parents showed up with their chicks and my husband caught a picture of them. I don't know if the first crane was one of the pair and went home to get the family or not, but I like to think so.