Journey North for Kids Classroom Lessons for Teachers Whooping Crane Home Page Whooping Crane Home Page Journey North Home Page

How did that feather get there?

Photo Sara Zimorski, International Crane Foundation

"Often the birds pull out loose feathers as they preen themselves. Usually the feather just floats away, but sometimes it gets stuck to the bird's beak or tongue and they can’t get it off. It’s sort of like when you something on your tongue except you have fingers to help get it off. With no fingers, the cranes just have to shake their heads or swish their beaks in the water until they get the feather dislodged. This is very funny to watch, as you can see the increasing frustration when they can’t get it off.

"This will also sometimes happen if a bird picks up a feather simply to play with it. They’ll often pick up feathers and let them go, or toss them in the air just like they do with sticks or grass or other objects. Occasionally when they do this the feather gets stuck."

— Sara Zimorski, Aviculturalist, ICF

<<Back to Report

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership.