On January 15th, 2011, the Chass Five chicks (3-10, 9-10,
15-10, 16-10 and 17-10) arrived at the Chassahowitzka National
Wildlife Refuge release pen. On January 18 they were set free.
A layer of fog blanketed the pen area as we opened
the gate that separated the chicks from their freedom. Out they
came, stretching their wings and looking around. Then they took
to the air, flying through the fog in circles around the pen
site, and then landing to investigate their new habitat.
Since release, we have been checking on the chicks two times
a day. Once in the morning, to make sure everybody looks alright
and that they have a sufficient supply of food, and once at night
to make sure they are roosting in a safe location. All
the chicks are doing very well. I
would say they are the best behaved, but it tries
my patience when they don't want to go in the pen to roost at
we only spend about 10-15 minutes (in costume) with the chicks
per day. We reduce the amount of "costume time" so
that they become more independent, and also so the chances of
them realizing that we are actually people are reduced.
two oldest chicks (#3 and #9) still have their chick voices, while
the 3 youngest chicks now have their adult voices!
tracking field Manager Eva is
with the Chass Five.
Photo Eva Szyszkoski. ICF
St. Marks five (#1-10, 5-10, 6-10, 8-10, and 10-10) arrived at their wintering
15, 2010. They were released on December 25, free to
come and go from a fenced
enclosure with no top net. All
older cranes #925 and #929
there, too. These two yearlings are being allowed to stay with the chicks since
they were getting harassed by the other four older cranes that they had arrived
The two "white birds" cause no trouble for the Class of 2010 youngsters — but
sometimes they hog the feeding stations instead of finding their own food! Click
on the photo below to see how handler Christine describes bedtime for the crane-kids:
Migration's Brooke Pennypacker
leads the winter team that is monitoring the five
young cranes at St. Marks NWR, with help from Christine.
St. Marks crane cam to visit the wintering crane-kids! (NOTE:
The feed is not a streaming, continuous feed. Instead, the image
every few seconds. It is best viewed with Firefox,
Chrome, or Safari. Internet Explorer does not behave properly.)