Sunday, September 14, 2008

Whooping Crane
2008 Migration to Florida
Journey South Update

The Whooping Cranes at the Necedah Wildlife Refuge that are being trained to fly south following an ultralight aircraft are getting closer to take off. Unfortunately, one of the birds (#810) got a little hostile and one other chick was killed and two were injured. One of the injured birds was sent back to Maryland as it has super genes and they want to preserve it for breeding. The other one is OK, but the attack messed up it's feather development and it was having trouble flying. It will be sent to a Zoo, where lots of people will be able to see this amazing bird.

My little gal, yes I have "adopted" #824. She jumped out at me from the page of 15 birds and when I saw her number was my birthday I decided she was the one for me. I just read that in her group (there are three age groups or cohorts) she was the first to "fledge" AND she did it on my birthday 8/24!! She's apparently a good flyer, however she's also a little aggressive - from her writeup:

Cohort 3 (the youngest birds) has a few meanies — and #824 is one of them. However, these youngest meanies have been associating with other chicks with a little less hatred than the bullies in Cohort 1. She is a good follower but makes a beeline to peck at any other chicks that she sees.

"Chick #824 is one of the only two girls in the last group probably tries the hardest to be the most dominant bird. She will stand up so tall when #829 is near and give him the stink eye. He really doesn't want to fight, but she provokes him. She normally ends up turning and walking away."

Well, you go girl. Wonder if she thinks #829 is cute?

Some pictures of #824.

Pictures are from the Whooping Crane Journey North/South website.
Field Notes on the progress of the training can be found at the Operation Migration website.

Next weekend there is a Whooping Crane Festival near the wildlife refuge where these birds are being trained and we are camping near by and attending the festival. Should be a fun weekend and although I'm sure we won't get to see the flock, there are tours through the refuge and perhaps we will see some of the adults who are also about ready to take off on their own migration south. They have made the trip before and know the way.

I found some interesting video's on YouTube that I thought I would share for anyone interested in this fascinating process. The first is of them leaving Necedah and the second of a flock arriving in Florida.

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hosaa said...

oops! I commented first on your earlier crane post when I meant to post here.

Kudos to you for such a wonderful pursuit, and for your beautiful pictures!


Ashes said...

Thanks for this update on the chicks! I missed seeing it. They are fascinating aren't they :)