important is paying close attention to the colors and the transmitters
legs? Very important! What
do you notice about the bands for each
aviculturalist Sara is
Winter Management co-leader at Chass with Richard Urbanek, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service Senior Project Biologist. Tracking
Chief Eva and
Matt are with
them. They'll all take off to
track the birds when migration begins.
Photo Eva Szyszkoski. ICF
hanging around the pen are male #105 and
his mate, 501. Caretakers
make sure the older birds don't take the juveniles' food or disturb
time we told you about the youngsters' lesson in safe roosting at night. Last
St. Marks Ten got their first "lesson" in how to eat the
most important food in a crane's winter diet: blue crabs. at Aransas the parents
to eat blue crabs.
But for the ultralight-led chicks, it’s up to the "costume."
Brooke and Scott Terrell from Disney Animal Kingdom brought the
chicks seven scuttling, pinching, eye-popping blue clawed crabs in a bucket.
Brooke describes the event:
"At first it was a standoff as we emptied the bucket at the edge
of the pen pond and the score stood at 0-0. Both teams eyed each other with
curiosity, wonder and suspicion for a minute or two until #910, his beak, as
always, the hair trigger, began jack hammering against the back of the first
#906 took aim at another crab, beaked its leg and shook it and all that was
attached to it back and forth,
as first one leg then another separated and became food. Soon the rest of the
chicks joined in, pulling and pounding, shaking and breaking. #911 and #918
tag-teamed one crab while #914 flipped another, body slamming it on the bank
his beak through it shell, thus discovering the weakness in the crab’s
considerable defenses and the best technique to arrive at the mother lode of
meat. The score was now Birds 7, Crabs 0.
days, it just doesn’t pay to be a crab."