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April 16, 2002

Learning From Role Models



Crane #7, age 6 days, looking at adult role model
Photos WCEP

Once old enough, the chicks are placed in individual pens next to adult whooping cranes (see video, below). It's important for chicks to see adult cranes right away so when they grow up, they will recognize their own kind and mate with the correct species. The chicks watch these adult whoopers and imitate them.

In the wild, baby whoopers learn migration from their parents, but that isn't possible for chicks hatched in captivity. Ultralight airplanes and people in special crane costumes will take over that job for these special chicks that will form the new Eastern flock.


Video Clip:
Chicks are Placed Near Adults


Try This! Link to Lesson and Journaling Question
Explore imprinting with our lesson:

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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