Encounter on the M Canal
April 18, 2021
Not far off Okeechobee Blvd in West Palm Beach, Fl Jog Road
disappears and resumes on 45st just past the Florida turnpike. Just
past that junction near the SWA Plant is the Palmetto Trail head
which leads to the Owahee
Trail. About a mile south of the Junction of the Owahee and the
Palmetto trail head connector is the M Canal. We often walk to and
on the Canal Trail. It's a great place to see a variety of
birds ,and Alligators.
There is also an Eagles nest viable from the trail and we often stop
to look.Unfortunately we have never seen an adult flying near the
nest or the eagle fledgling but we have seen an adult and the
immature eagle in the nest. On the 18th the nest was empty.
We stopped to look and then continued East on the trail. About
a half mile down the trail the trail forks one part continues under
the turnpike underpass continuing East the other goes along the
turnpike in a southerly direction. We usually turn around at that
spot but we saw a couple,that had recently passed us on their
bicycles, stopped and looking at something off the trail. At that
point it was impossible to tell what they were looking at so we
started down the trail. At first it looked like a Big Blue Heron but
it quickly became apparent that it was a solitary Sand Hill
As we approached however we saw that it had a chick with it.
and the chick staid close to the adult
This entire scene was somewhat strange because Sand hill
Cranes mate for life and there was only one adult with this chick.
As we stood watching and waiting for the mate to show up which it
never did we saw another chick following at a distance.
The second chick looked considerably smaller then the first and
appeared reluctant to approach closer. As the adult foraged
over maybe 50 feet near the path the second chick came closer but
never too close and at one point it seemed to hide from the adult
and first chick.
Second chick hiding and following again
It made it's move and started getting closer to
the other two.