The seven juveniles at Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
were released on February 3 from the top-netted pen where they
housed during the health exams. All
are doing great. Sara says, "They
spend a lot of time eating, foraging, and resting. They
leave the pen occasionally but roost in it every night, which
is what we want. Richard saw one of them catch a crab. Two others
ate it after he helped smash it up. The other day I saw two different
catch and eat tiny crabs. The chicks take short flights
over and around the pen and the island, but there's not
excitement going on. They have settled in
well and are a great bunch of birds."
The "Chass 7" arrived
at their winter site Jan. 23. How long have they been there?
When will they leave? We will wait and see!
aviculturalist Sara and tracker Eva are winter monitors for the
7 young cranes at the flock's Chassahowitzka NWR winter home
seven juveniles are behaving well and doing just fine after arriving January
17 and having health checks/banding on January 25. After their release Jan. 28,
their 3-acre open pen only to fly short circuits
before returning. Lately they've been flying out, visiting nearby
ponds, exploring their surroundings, and foraging for food.
Brooke and Bev stocked live shrimp in a shallow end of one of the ponds
open pen enclosure. They've been putting
live crabs in another area. They eat tiny
that live in their
chow that is still provided in feeders.
birds defend their territory from other wildlife on
the refuge. They chased off a vulture while
still in the air, drove out Wood storks that landed
in their enclosure. But they peacefully share it
with visiting Anhingas (small birds that can stay submerged
periods of time).
so welcome are
the wild pigs that make the refuge their home. So far, trapping and relocating
any potential wildlife threat is working. The
refuge workers are doing a splendid job, and the cranes are content on
their new wintering grounds. How long will they stay? We shall see!