as a Chick
Siince he's the youngest, it's like he has something to prove to himself or to the others by challenging everyone all the time, reported Jen. But As a baby, he was a really great cuddler. He was always brooding the costume, and if he had the chance, he would sit down with other chicks.
The 11 DAR (Direct Autumn Release) Whooping Crane chicks were released October 25 on the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The young cranes learn the migration route from following older cranes. Biologists from ICF and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are tracking the released DAR cranes using radio telemetry, picking up radio signals emitted from leg transmitters on the birds.
By Nov. 6 the large group of nine DAR birds had been settling into a routine and feeding in cornfields just south of the refuge during the day, reported Eva. They are usually with older birds #506, #906 and 38-09 (DAR) and return to the refuge in the evening.
As they begin the migration south trackers will be monitoring the birds’ movements. Watch for news below!
Fall 2010, First Migration: Began migration November 23, following older Whooping cranes who know the route. In fact, DAR chicks 20, 23, 24, 26, and 28-10 all stayed together and were led by experienced adults (#6-05 and yearlings #6-09 and #38-09). This large group of eight spent some time in Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge before once again escaping the cold snows of Indiana and moving along.
WCEP trackers recorded the five DAR chicks and the three older whoopers in Hamilton County, TN when they roosted there on December 10th. On December 13th the group of eight cranes left this location. The three older birds later returned, but no further reports came for the five DAR juveniles until December 30, 1010, when hunters found three of them dead of gunshot just west of Albany, Georgia. The three dead cranes were DAR chicks 20-10, 24-10 and 28-10.
The landowner reported the cranes had been in the area for a few weeks before they were found dead. Since the deaths, two Whooping cranes, presumed to be the other two DAR birds of the group of five, have been sighted in fields adjacent to the mortality site.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and others are investigating the shooting deaths of these endangered birds, and a reward is offered for information leading to arrest of the shooters. The public is asked to report any tips. Contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Terry Hasting at 404-763-7959 (ext. 233).
Updates will appear here when there's further news.
Last updated: 1/10/11
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