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How is this adult crane preparing for migration?


Notice the feathers sticking up. A crane is normally sleek and only has "bad hair days" when it is molting: shedding old feathers to make way for new growth. Feathers get worn out on the crane's long migration. Strong, new feathers will be important to help the crane make the journey south in autumn.

What do you think the best time of year would be for cranes to molt? Why is molting a dangerous time for Whooping cranes? What clues about the molting season does the photo show us?


Photo Vickie Henderson
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