April 13, 2002
This new chick cuddles with a crane puppet head. This helps with proper imprinting
(an attachment the chick develops for whomever feeds and cares for him).
Crane chicks love the color red. The red tip on the bill helps the chick focus
on it when trainers use the puppet to start feeding the chick and teaching it what
The whooping crane chicks are being hand-reared (also called costume-reared).
That means they are being imprinted on whooping cranes, while raised by humans that
wear costumes to hide their human forms. The humans must never speak or sneeze or
make any human noises while around the cranes!Find out more about imprinting:
Try This! Link to Lesson
Trainer Dan Sprague, Biologist, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Meet Dan Sprague
file, 245K, .wav file, 146K, .aif file, 146K)
Hear Dan Explain Why He Wears the Costume
file, 531K, .wav file, 279K, .aif file, 279K)
Try This! Journaling Question
- Dan uses the word imprinting when he explains why he wears the costume. After
you listen to the audio clip, write the word and its meaning in your journal. As
you read the Journey North Highlights, list some "tools" that biologists
use to help baby cranes imprint correctly on their species.
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by
Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
Copyright 2002 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
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