Personality and History
Migration Training: Chicks #515 and 516 started training together and did very well. By the final week at Patuxent (June 27), the trainers were trying to get 515 and 516 into the "510, 511, 512" group so that they might possibly join the next shipment on July 6. (#510, 511, and 512 had been getting along nicely, with 512 having to assert his dominance only every now and then.) Trainers had these five birds walking together, and one day they took all eight out to the pond pens. "We put the group of five in one pen and the three older dudes next door so that they could just look at each other on the first day," reported Mark Nipper. "They looked and really didn't seem to care too much. The first step is always small, but still very important."
Chick #515 arrived in Wisconsin on July 6 with the rest of cohort 2 and all behaved as though they had been raised there, and looked very healthy. At both Patuxent and at Necedah, she liked to eat a lot of pebbles. She will stand up for herself to the bullies. She likes to stay near the costumes, and follows slowly in the back of the group.By July 21, all the cohort 2 birds followed the trike well, but #515 isn't really flying yet.
As flight training continued, Chick #515 struggled to keep up with the group. She often flew back to the runway, missing out on over half of each training flight. She is the smallest bird in the flock and doesn't have the strength of the others.
On September 12 when the ultralight landed the chicks after a training flight, #515 ran into a guy wire to the wing. She died as a result of her injuries. She may have been trying to take a shortcut to land and got in front or on top of the wing. Or perhaps she was tired and failed to pull up and away from the wire if she saw it--we will never know. It was a sad, sad day.
Last updated: 09/14/05
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