New Gate Makes "Chass" Pen Safer
Contributed by Sara Zimorski
automatic float gate was built into the top-netted pen at
the "Chass" release
pen site in 2008. The wood gate on the left opens
from the top-netted pen into the large open pen. The small
on the right is the entry gate used by the birds and costumed
caretakers to come in from outside. Click photo for a closer
Photos Sara Zimorski
a storm hits the chick's Florida pen area without warning, the birds
can be in danger if they're in the pen and can't get out. This led
to tragedy for the Class of 2006. The Chass pen is 5 miles offshore,
and the usual way to get there is by
airboat. But during stormy weather, conditions may be too dangerous
for helpers to travel
by airboat to release
the birds and help may not arrive.
Heuvelen designed a new release
gate. When water in the top-netted pen reaches a certain
level, heavy tanks rise in the water, lifting an "arm" that
the gate. The gate falls away and the birds can escape. Birds have a
better chance to find safety if they can fly free.
Sara's photo for larger view. Find the parts of the float and latch
mechanism that will open the gate if the water level rises too high.
(Because the birds are not in the top-netted pen in this photo, the
automatic float gate is locked so it can't open and accidentally fall
on a bird
was standing outside the pen.)
Try This! Journal Question
- Tell about a time when you had a problem
and thought of a way to solve it by making something.
do you think the young cranes are safer if they can fly free?