Why does the little chick look at the puppet?

This is chick #601 on May 13, 2006. He hatched on May 5. A crane puppet like this was his first sight after he hatched. Seeing the puppet nearby makes him feel safe. The puppet shows him what to do and where to go. The puppet coaches the chick to walk along and exercise its feet and legs. Crane puppets help train the young chicks to eat, drink, find food, and follow along.

The puppet is on the arm of a person who is covered with a big white costume. Crane scientists do not want the little chicks to ever see or hear humans, even though humans will raise the baby cranes who will follow the ultralight plane on their first migration.

Experts use a crane pupopet and hide under a costume for good reasons. They want the cranes to know their own species and never get attached to humans. Then these endangered birds will keep away from humans when they grow up to be wild and free.


Photo Operation Migration

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