Sandhill cranes appear to have had a good nesting season near Homer this summer. Kachemak Crane Watch Co-founder Nina Faust said while most of the birds have flown south to California for the winter, the citizen-science based program found that most were successful in raising their colts.
“We had 63 colts hatched from 33 nests that were reported, and out of that, 48 colts survived to fledging,” Faust explained. “That’s 13.2 percent better than last year.”
Faust explains more reports of nesting cranes could be partially responsible for that increase, but overall, she said it’s a good sign that the birds are doing well in the Homer area.
“It’s really hard to say what percentage of all nests there are because keep in mind there’s a lot of open territory that people can’t even see,” Faust said. “These are nests that are near people’s homes where they’re able to observe them from their property.”
The program has seen a steady growth in the number of fledged colts since 2004.