This little guy was aggressive from the beginning. He was small, but acted like he knew he was ten feet tall! He had many "time outs" by himself from the time he could walk. Once he tried to start a fight with #803 in the pen next to him, and #803 was almost twice his size. On one of his many time outs, Barb said: "I checked on #810 often, only to find him enjoying life, all alone, no one to harass, no one to peck at. At a later date, Barb saw #810 pecking, flapping and jump raking towards his sister, #811 (she was in a pen next to him with plexiglas separating them). "Not a good sign on the aggression factor scale," said Barb, so #810 got some alone time before a later try again with the group. When Patuxent folks put him on the plane for Necedah, they wrote this message on the front of his shipping crate: Good Luck.
from flight school in Wisconsin:
"He has given us our share of worry and, although he has caused us and his cohort much grief, he should be recognized for his survival skills. I have no doubt if he and #811 had hatched from that Necedah nest together, #810 would be the survivor. No chance for a set of twins to both survive in that nest."
Meanie #810 was kept apart to prevent further aggression to the other chicks. The team watched him closely and he was allowed to return to the flock about a week later. In early september, pilot Brooke thinks "#810 is fine when in the pen but when out on the strip training, if someone gets out of line, or picks a fight with him, he WILL defend himself and it can escalate..."
The team will need to keep an eye on #810 because of his temper. Biggest in the Class of 2008, he weighed 6.7 kg at the pre-migration health check on Sept. 2.
He showed his mean streak again Oct. 5 when all the birds were mixing together for the first time on the runway. He attacked first one chick, then another, and then another. Pilot Brooke wrote: "Like referees at a boxing match we broke up clinch after clinch as true rage took control of his little body and he chased, jump-raked and grabbed birds with his beak." Brian finally grabbed him by the wings and walked him back into the divided pen for some time out while the rest of the birds returned to their world of simple bird play and introducing themselves to each other. The team watched and Brooke wrote, "He paces in visible belligerence and agitation along his side of the pen fence, picking fights through the fence with any and all passing chicks. His behavior fills me with disappointment and dread, for we must now weigh the prospect of continued efforts of integration with the danger of him attacking and injuring yet more chicks."
from Flight School
next for #810?
On Oct. 8 the team let his cohort-mates #803, 804 and 805 keep #810 company in his pen for the morning and all went well. He wanted to charge out of the pen and follow the ultralight when the flock trained, and it was sad for the ground crew to hear him peep and call when he was left behind.
On the day before migration, the pilots moved the other 13 birds so they could spend the night in their travel pen to get used to it. Mr. #810, in a fenced off area, cried at being left behind when the others took off with the ultralight. The pilots returned after the other 13 birds were settled. As they rolled past #810's pen gate, the doors were opened and #810 charged out for a nice flight all by himself with the ultralight. Now everyone was happier, especially #810! He will be banded and released after the ultralights and Class of 2008 are gone.
He continued seeking out the company of other Whooping cranes elsewhere on the refuge. He was seen with #307 and #721 on Oct. 26 and with #310 and W1-06 (the wild-hatched chick) Oct. 28.
Fall 2008 — First Journey South as a Released Crane: Left Wisconsin on Nov. 20 in a large group of the flock's adult Whooping cranes and another first-timer, DAR #37-08. Not all of them stayed together, but on Nov. 24, young #810 and #37-08 (in a group with #412, 511. 512. 716. 724, and DAR 46-07) had reached the border of southern Illinois and southern Indiana.
made it to Florida! He was confirmed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State
Park in Alachua County, Florida, on
January 1, 2009. He was
with DAR 37-08 and several older whoopers. But after January 30 his
radio signal was not detected there,
and his current location is unknown. Trackers looked for him with
searches on the ground and in the air but found no sign of him or his
Last updated: 5/13/09
Check back for updates here throughout 10-08's life.
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