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Banded and Free January 9, 2015
The young crane-kids that migrated to Florida with aircraft leaders are flying free, but usually return to the pen every morning. They got a surprise on January 5 when they were quickly captured and banded! The banding crew were Eva Szyszkoski from the International Crane Foundation, Tim and Carolyn from Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission, Scott and Cheryl from Disney, and Colleen and Brooke from Operation Migration. The birds were hooded during the process so they wouldn't see the humans, and the humans were hoodless so they could work faster. In quick order, the chicks were back in the top-netted pen where they'll be watched to make sure they're okay before their release back to freedom. All looked good, preening away at their new "identification bracelets," and happily munching grapes as their rewards.

Image: Craig Kittendorf and Bert Burton from the St Marks Photo Club
Eva and helpers band a crane from the Class of 2014 on January 5, 2015.